A glimmer of hope in post-graduate hiring

Daniel Perret-Goluboff

If you’re anything like me, the prospect of life after Lawrence leaves you feeling somewhat conflicted. The concept of moving into the next stage of independent life is terribly exciting, but this excitement typically subsides to the thought of the dismal state of the job market and visions of attempting to put my English major to use – “Will write for food…”

These thoughts certainly fill the minds of scores of college students across the country, and as the horizon of summer begins to show, they become all the more real for graduating seniors.

Recent news reports, however, seem to paint a different picture. Don’t hold your breath quite yet, but it seems as though the American job market may finally be taking a turn for the better in terms of employment opportunities for post-graduates.

A survey issued by the National Association of Colleges and Employers predicts that hiring is expected to climb 10.2 percent by the end of 2012 – welcome news for those of us graduating in 2013 or later. What’s more, this estimate is adjusted upward from the initial prediction of 9.5 percent that NACE issued for 2012 earlier this year.

Mind you, this trend is not by any means indicative of an immediate rejuvenation in the post-graduate hiring market. Rather, it shows that the American economy is beginning to gain the traction necessary to climb out of the hole that has caused the pitfall in post-graduate hiring in America over the last several years.

Nonetheless, it seems like a cause to celebrate. The career services office at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill has seen a 7.4 percent increase in the amount of interviews offered to graduating students by employers this year alone.

Of course, these numbers hold a specifically arbitrary nature for students at liberal arts schools like Lawrence. Undergraduate business majors have seen an increase in full-time job offers of almost 10 percent, according to The Huffington Post, but nobody here majors in business.

Nonetheless, bigger-picture numbers seem to maintain that there may be reason for hope. The unemployment rate in America fell to 8.3 percent in February, but the unemployment rate among college graduates over the age of 25 stood at only 4.2 percent.

Unemployment information for the month of March will not be released until April 6, but it is predicted to show a total of roughly 200,000 jobs created in the month, which would keep the overall rate at 8.3 percent.

The numbers suggest a bleak picture, but one that is gradually growing brighter. NACE’s findings have also suggested that the median income for first time jobholders after college is supposed to climb just over 4 percent to $42,569 as of the end of 2012.

Will I still be haunted nightly by the job prospects for an English major as my junior and senior years here at Lawrence unfold? Without question. But if the numbers continue to trend the way that they have been, a brighter frame of mind may be in order.