Spring accounting grads fare better in hiring than their peers

For the first time since October 2008, employers plan to increase hiring of new college graduates, showing the job market has turned a corner, a new report states.

Employers this year plan to hire 5.3 percent more new college graduates than they did in 2009. “This report comes as good news for the Class of 2010, and bodes well for next year’s class,” according to “Job Outlook 2010 Spring Update” by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), which surveyed 177 employer members.
 
Following the stock market crisis, employers drastically cut back on hiring recent college graduates. Hiring of this group in 2009 dropped by nearly 22 percent from 2008 levels, even though employers had previously predicted a small increase in hiring for the Class of 2009.
 
Earlier projections for the Class of 2010 showed hiring would be down 7 percent compared to last year but that, too, never transpired. “We’re seeing hiring increases in nearly all the reporting industries,” NACE Executive Director Marilyn Mackes said in a statement. The best hiring outlook is in the Northeast.
 
More good news for accounting majors: Not only is hiring up, but accounting firms made more offers to new bachelor’s degree graduates than any other employer, NACE said in a separate salary survey, which is issued quarterly. Engineering firms were No. 2 on the list with retailers/wholesalers at No. 3.
 
“Although data are limited at this time of year, the results are consistent with what we have seen in the past,” Mackes said. “Accounting and engineering organizations historically have been among the most active in terms of recruiting and hiring new college graduates.”
 
Starting salaries also increased in 2010 for finance and accounting majors. The average offer to finance majors rose by 1.6 percent to $50,546, and the average offer to accounting majors increased by 0.4 percent to $48,575. For most other majors, starting salaries are down, according to the survey. The overall average salary offer to a bachelor’s degree candidate is $47,673, which is 1.7 percent lower than the average offer of $48,515 to the same group in 2009.
 
NACE also reported that the outlook for recruitment on college campuses in the fall is positive. “Nearly 60 percent of respondents have plans to hire more or the same number of new college graduates in fall 2010 as they did in fall 2009. Last year at this time, just over one-third of respondents had those same plans.”
 
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