As the school year comes to an end, the graduating class of 2006 prepares to say good-bye to school work and hello to corporate America. For those who choose not to attend graduate school right away, a decision to enter corporate America may work in their favor.
According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) the class of 2006 will enjoy the best job market in four years. NACE’s Job Outlook survey found that employers are expected to hire 14.5 percent more new college graduates this year than have hired in the past.
“Jobs should be readily available to us because we deserve it. We have spent four years in school. There should be opportunities for us to be placed right into a job rather than having to spend so much time and money looking for a job,” said Tyrone Chambers, a senior majoring in music at Morehouse College.
The NACE’s study showed that more than 46 percent of employers who responded to the Job Outlook survey described the job market for new college graduates as “good” or “excellent”, compared with 29 percent at the same time a year ago. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has identified nursing as one of the most critically needed professions, and revealed that registered nursing will be the largest-growing occupation through the year 2012.
The growth in job prospects differs from region to region. Employers in the Northeast have the most positive projections, increasing their number of college hires by 25.8 percent. The South followed with a 17.6 percent increase. The West coast projects a 15.8 percent increase while the Midwest lags behind with the forecast of 9.1 percent. Employers who responded to the NACE survey expressed most interest in students with engineering, business and computer related degrees.
“I interviewed with the IT divisions of 5 different companies and managed to get 4 job offers. Majority of the graduating information systems class already has at least one job offer, with a starting salary of at least $50,000.” explained Jeremiah Young, a senior majoring in Computer Based Information Systems Analysis at Howard University.
Although the job market looks promising for 2006 graduates, some students have post graduation plans that do not include Corporate America. “After graduation I plan to stay in Atlanta for a year [to perform] with the Atlanta Opera Company and [work] as a music teacher. Ultimately I want to be a professional singer, conductor, and music teacher,” Chambers said.
LaShaya Howie, a senior studying Afro-American Studies at Howard University has also decided to not enter Corporate America.
“I’m not seeking a traditional nine-to-five job,” she said. “I hope to have a career as a college professor and researcher in my field. [Also] I hope to travel or do a teaching program.”