Employers expect to hire 12.7 percent more new college graduates in the upcoming year than they hired last year, according to a new survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).
"It's been two years since we've seen employers project an increase in college hiring, so there is reason to be cautiously optimistic," says Marilyn Mackes, NACE executive director.
Approximately half (50.7 percent) of the employers responding to NACE's survey said they expect to hire more new college graduates in 2003-2004 than they did in 2002-2003; 28 percent plan to cut back, and 21.3 percent anticipate no change in hiring levels.
By region, changes in college hiring plans are most significant in the Northeast, where employers plan to increase college hiring by 15.3 percent. Midwest employers expect to increase their hiring by 13.5 percent, and employers in the West nearly match that with a 13.3 percent increase projected. In the South, employers plan to hire 7.2 percent more new college graduates in 2003-04.
"It's important for college students to understand that, despite the positive projections, they will face significant competition for jobs," says Mackes. "They need to use all the resources available to them, particularly their campus career center, which can help them connect with and market themselves to employers."