College seniors can look forward to the best job market in years, with employers planning to hire 17-percent more graduates from the class of 2007 than they did from last year's class.
The National Association of Colleges and Employers said in its Job Outlook 2007 survey that more than half the employers surveyed said they planned to increase hiring, with only five-percent planning a decrease, the Wall Street Journal reported. The association predicted this year would be the best job market since 2000-2001.
Deloitte & Touche is contributing to the recruiting push in a big way. Diane Borhani, head of U.S. campus recruiting, told the Journal that the firm is recruiting about 3,300 seniors for full-time positions in the U.S. this year, up from fewer than 3,100 last year.
She added that higher salaries and signing bonuses are being used to attract talented graduates. Full-time starting base salaries in the U.S. are up about five-percent on average to as much as roughly $60,000 in certain areas. Signing bonuses for new college hires in consulting range from $6,000 to $10,000 this year, up from $4,000 to $8,000 last year, Borhani said.
The starting salary offer increases rose the most in the business disciplines and information sciences. Offers for economics/finance graduates are up by 6.2-percent, for example.
“One of the most exciting changes we've seen is in the increase in demand for accounting majors,” says Eva Gabbe, manager of Sacramento State University's Career Center Recruitment Program. “Accounting graduates are doing exceptionally well in the job market.”
In an even better position are newly minted MBAs. Employers plan to hire 22-percent more MBA graduates this year than they did last year, the Job Outlook 2007 survey said.
In 1997, new MBAs were offered an average annual starting salary of $39,277. Steven Parscale, director of accreditation for the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs, told the Kansas City Star that this year's graduates should be making “at least a six-figure income.”
The job market is so good that career counselors have to stop over-eager employers from recruiting MBAs too soon, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
“We had to set strict guidelines about how soon employers can come to campus to recruit,” said Stephen Rakas, associate director of the career opportunities center at Carnegie Mellon's Tepper School of Business in Pittsburgh. “We don't want students hit on their first day on campus when they're still trying to buy their books.”