Graduates Seeking Employment

April 23, 2002 ( - With the unemployment rate at 5.7% and an economic recovery still struggling to take hold, this year's estimated three million new graduates will be entering a tight job market, yet opportunities still abound in a number of industries.

According to data released by career Web site Monster, entry-level job opportunities are most abundant in:

  • sales, which accounts for 19% of all entry-level jobs
  • administrative and support services, which accounts for 13%.

Customer service may also hold a good deal of opportunity, with 21% of all positions in that category classified as entry-level. Other leading categories for entry-level jobs for college students and young alumni are:

  • Education
  • Accounting & Finance
  • Non-Profit, including Government.

State of Opportunity

According to Monster,

  • California offers the greatest percentage of the country’s entry-level jobs with 14%
  • Texas follows at 8%
  • Massachusetts 7%
  • New York, offering 6%.

In terms of percentage of entry-level opportunities among all jobs within each state, Massachusetts, Maryland and Alabama lead the way, as 13% of all jobs in those states are listed as entry-level positions. Indiana and Missouri follow with 12%, Monster said.

The jobs most desired by 2002 graduates are in Advertising/Marketing/PR, with 11% of Monster entry-level resumes falling into this category.

Other popular fields include:

  • IT, accounting for 8% of resumes
  • engineering, 6%
  • computers/software, 5%
  • arts/entertainment/media, 5%
  • sales, 4%
  • administrative support, accounting for 4% of resumes.

This year’s college graduates are seeking salaries more or less in line with the national median entry-level compensation ranges, with $39,600 being the average asking salary.

Students are requesting:

  • $46,500 for jobs in engineering
  • $41,000 for sales
  • $36,200 for accounting/auditing
  • $34,700 for advertising/marketing/PR
  • $33,700 for arts/entertainment/media..

The data are based on a comprehensive analysis of Monster job postings in the US.