2012 Grads Head Into Better Job Market

April 26, 2012 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The college graduating class of 2012 is heading into a better job market than alumni of the previous three years.

According to a study from CareerBuilder and CareerRookie.com, more than half of employers (54%) reported they plan to hire recent college graduates in 2012, up from 46% in 2011, 44% in 2010 and 43% in 2009.

“This is the first time since the recession that we’re seeing a majority of employers planning to add recent college graduates to their employee roster,” said Brent Rasmussen, president of CareerBuilder North America. “Companies across industries are placing a strong emphasis on recruiting fresh talent for technology-related roles and positions designed to drive revenue – and they’re willing to pay more for high-skill, educated labor.”

How Much Will College Grads Likely Earn? 

Of those who plan to hire recent college graduates, 29% expect to offer higher starting salaries than they did in 2011. While employers were most likely to report that they would pay between $30,000 and $40,000, a significant portion will extend offers exceeding $50,000.

•  Less than $30,000—20%;

•  $30,000 to less than $40,000—30%;

•  40,000 to less than $50,000—21%; and

•  $50,000 and higher—28%. 

Which College Majors Are Most in Demand? 

Business tops the list with technical majors following closely behind.

•  Business—39%;

•  Computer and Information Sciences—24%;

•  Engineering—23%;

•  Math and Statistics—13%;

•  Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences—13%;

•  Communications Technologies—12%; and

•  Liberal Arts and Sciences—9%.

What Jobs Are Employers Targeting College Grads to Fill? 

Companies continue to recruit recent college graduates for roles that drive innovation, sales and new market opportunities.

•  Information Technology—25%;

•  Customer Service—23%;

•  Sales—21%;

•  Finance/Accounting—18%;

•  Marketing—17%; and

•  Business Development—17%.

The survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive on behalf of CareerBuilder among 2,303 hiring managers and human resource professionals (employed full-time, not self-employed, non-government) between February 9 and March 2, 2012.