A recent report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers estimates that in 2016 employers will hire 11 percent more college graduates than the class of 2015.
“The perception of the job market among employers is also climbing. This year, 42 percent of employers that participated in the survey characterized the job market for Class of 2016 graduates as very good or excellent,” states the study. “Just two years ago, only 18 percent of responding employers had the same lofty view of the job market for Class of 2014 graduates.”
Jeffrey Mass, Assistant Director of Career Services, explained that he has seen this increase in employment opportunity as a trend over the last five years. Five years ago the annual Career Fair had about 60 to 70 employers and this year there were over 120 employers who attended the Career Day on campus.
Aimee Parks, Assistant Director of Human Resources for Student Employment, pointed out that there is no set reason for the increase in employments rates and that the reason for this increase could be due to an increase in jobs overall or there could be more people retiring.
“It is encouraging to hear that there is an 11 percent increase in hiring, so that eases my mind a bit more,” said Brittany Lamb, a senior business administration student graduating May 2016. “It also gives me hope that the job market will continue to grow over time, and more jobs will be available for college graduates.”
Yet alumni of the University still report having struggled during their job search post graduation. “I had three internships and was on two executive boards at Monmouth. This helped me secure a lot of interviews but there is still so much competition, so I often missed out on jobs. Most commonly I was told someone with more experience got it over me,” said a University alumna Kelly Hughes. “I thought I did everything right and would have gotten a job faster than November but now I see that it takes time to find a particular fit.”
Hughes now has a job in her desired field of Public Relations in Philadelphia but explained that at points the job search was indeed very stressful.
Parks explained how a higher chance of getting a job does not not necessarily mean that the job will be in your field. Hughes attested and said, “No one I know really has their ideal job out of college.”
Jessica Caffey, a senior criminal justice and psychology student who is graduating in May 2016 said that the new study does relieve some stress but, “I would have to see more information on who is hiring and what positions would be available. If the positions do not apply to law enforcement, it would not relieve much anxiety.”
Caffey also explained how she is nervous about finding a job after graduation because many of her friends who graduated and are looking for a degree in law enforcement have been struggling to find a job in the field.
“I went through so many phone interviews, which are growing in popularity and are so awkward because you can’t actually see who you’re talking to but you know they’re judging you,” said Heather Muh, another University alumna who graduated this past May and started a position in her field about a week ago.
“Once I got through phone interviews I had quite a few in-person interviews with several companies but none of them panned out because many companies seem to be looking for candidates for entry-level positions but want a lot more than entry-level experience,” said Muh of her job searching experience.
Students should also be aware that they should not tie themselves down to their major after graduation. “What we tell students is to always be open. Firms like hiring recent students for all sorts of majors. For example, JP Morgan is open to all majors upon graduation,” said Mass.
Parks described how important it is for students to branch out and challenge themselves while in college. “Students need to take advantage of opportunities and take at least a second internship while in college. They should also take advantage of the workshops, conferences, and informative events that are always happening on campus,” she said. She encouraged students to remember how competitive the job market can be.
Mass also offered advice to students and explained the importance of having two or three internships before graduation. He said that students should try to have one internship within their major and one outside their major to give them a wide variety of experience to put on their resume. “This is important because an internship allows you to explore different professional fields without being tied down to them. It is also great for networking,” he said.