College graduates doing menial work while desperately trying to pay off student loans is a familiar story. Though people love sad stories, this one can be put into the myth category. And 2017/18 promises to be a good year for new graduates. If you have a degree, you can expect higher revenues and a low probability of unemployment.
According to the 2017 Bureau of Labor Statistics report on unemployment rates by education level, for December 2016, the unemployment rate for college graduates was only 2.5 percent. This meant that only one out of every 40 graduates was unemployed. That’s half the rate compared to high school graduates.
Having a degree is a wise investment, not a gamble.
Another myth concerns the miserly salaries that college graduates are expected to put up with. By consulting PayScale.com’s major-specific average earnings for early career people, we get a clearer average of current salaries that tell a different story. Some of those majors that are popularly considered a lost cause employment-wise – such as anthropology and art history – still average $39,900 and $40,800 in early career salaries.
According to NACE’s Job Outlook 2017 Spring Update, things are looking promising for graduates this year. The report cites that more than three-quarters of employers plan on hiring on campus for the class of 2018.
Another reason to be optimistic comes from a new survey by CareerBuilder, showing that 74 percent of employers plan to hire recent college graduates this year. That’s up from 67 percent last year and is the highest outlook since 2007.
Half of the employers said that they plan to offer recent college graduates higher pay than last year (compared to 37 percent last year), and 39 percent of employers hiring recent college graduates will pay a starting salary of $50,000 or more (compared to 27 percent last year).
Three in five of these employers say pre-graduation job offers are in hand for this year’s graduates, and 70 percent of employers say they are willing to negotiate salaries with recent graduates.
The Most Popular Majors for Employers This Year
• Information technology (33 percent)
• Customer service (24 percent)
• Business development (23 percent)
• Finance/accounting (20 percent)
• Production (18 percent)
So, don’t listen to the naysayers. Don’t despair, because 2017/18 looks to be packed with opportunity. It will be the ideal time for embarking on a new career.