Job opportunities jump for college graduates


Job prospects for recent college graduates are rising.
Job prospects for recent college graduates are rising.

Though college graduates were significantly impacted by the housing and financial crises, their employment prospects are increasing, according to experts.

The U.S. has experienced an economic recovery over the past few years, with overall GDP continuing to climb at a steady – if not historically slow – pace. U.S. college students who graduated at the height of the recession in 2009 entered a battered labor market, as employers were loath to hire new workers, especially those with freshly minted degrees.

However, that trend appears to be changing, according to the latest data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Companies are working to ramp up their recruitment of recent college graduates, with firms specializing in staffing more young professionals for engineering positions.  

The Obama Administration has increasingly urged students to consider careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Such industries have continued to grow, even in the aftermath of the worst economic contraction since the Great Depression. With companies such as Apple and Google experiencing robust demand, they are increasingly hiring engineers and other skilled workers across a wide array of fields.

WZZM News reports that college graduates are increasingly optimistic about their job searching prospects. According to the results of a study released by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, private employers in the U.S. are expected to hire 10 percent more new college graduates this year compared to the year prior.

That figure is significant for a number of reasons, including the fact that hiring picked up precipitously between 2010 and 2011. Job opportunities and job openings for college graduates with engineering and science-based degrees are rising at a rapid clip, underscoring how such students are highly sought after by companies.

Increased economic optimism has also prompted a growing number of companies to increase their recruiting efforts on college campuses, according to Troy Farley, who oversees career services at Grand Valley State University in Michigan.

"One of the things we are seeing is more recruiting taking place. We had a career fair February and had record attendance," Farley said. "We had 165 companies representing over 1,200 internships or full time positions. That was significantly higher than last year."

With economics bullish of future growth prospects, such hiring trends could continue into next year, according to industry experts.