Class of 2004 Already Starting First Job Search

September 22, 2003 ( - Nine out of 10 (93%) college graduates in the class of 2003 are still struggling to find their first job out of college leading many in the 2004 class to start the job hunt earlier.

Perhaps knowing the road to that first career opportunity is a long one, the majority (44%) of college seniors who responded to the MonsterTRAK poll plan to start their job search eight months in advance of their graduation date. When asked, “How far in advance of graduation do you plan to start your job search?” this group said “I need to begin as soon as school starts.”

The rest of the group is choosing to wait until the light at the end of the scholastic tunnel is in its bright final semester phase. Of that group:

  • 19% plan to start in four to seven months prior to walking the stage saying, ” It can wait until second semester.”
  • 19% said they “can’t think about it until after graduation.”
  • 18% want to get out that last hurrah, pointing to one to three months out from graduation, saying “It’s my top priority after Spring Break.”

However, hope springs eternal, according to Michelle Forker, senior vice president, MonsterTRAK, “Although the job market is still tight for many entry-level job seekers, there are many great opportunities for recent and upcoming college graduates. Among MonsterTRAK job postings, the Accounting and Finance, Business and Management, and Advertising/Marketing/PR categories are currently hot sectors for entry-level opportunities across the nation, as they have shown strong growth from 2002 to 2003.”

Echoing the results from the MonsterTRAK poll, Forker points to starting early and pounding the pavement as keys to finding that first job after graduation. “In the months ahead, it is important for college students to begin their job searching as early as possible by investigating all resources available to them: including networking with friends and family; seeking internships and informational interviews; visiting their college career center; as well as writing a professional resume and honing their interviewing skills.”