An estimated 1,855,000 students at the bachelor’s degree level are expected to graduate this year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Good news for graduates — the job outlook appears promising.
A survey conducted by the National Association of College and Employers (NACE) revealed that employers plan to hire 8.3 percent more new college graduates for their U.S. operations than in 2014. In fact, most companies rate the overall job market as “good” and the number offering a “very good” rating has risen to almost one-third of respondents.
The top five fields expected to see the highest percentage of growth include wholesale trade, retail trade, utilities, miscellaneous manufacturing and oil and gas extraction, according to the survey.
“The job market will be different for new grads depending on their program of study, where they live and how much prior experience they have,” said Cassandra Brentley, MA Ed., QEP academic success center supervisor at South University. “Two great resources available for students to research the job market in their field is the Bureau of Labor Statistics and O*Net.”
South University Offers Job Search Resources
South University students have the opportunity to start working with a career services advisor six months before graduation and are encouraged to start their job search then, Brentley said.
“A successful job search requires that students have a professional online presence, (a) complete resume and customized cover letters for each position they apply to,” Brentley said. Students can begin working on all three of these pieces before they graduate.”
Facing a job search for the first time can be overwhelming, but South University students have plenty of help available to them.
“South University offers a plethora of resources designed to help students prepare for their job search,” Brentley said. “The Career Services resource page in the Campus Common provides access to many career research and job finding websites that South University students and alumni have access to.”
The Career Services library provides books, links to websites and videos designed to help students prepare for their job search, Brentley said.
“Additionally, the South University, Online Programs Career Services Department has a YouTube channel where students can view presentations on preparing for interviews, revising their resume and even program specific videos that discuss specific job finding techniques for a given program of study.”
Getting Ahead Without Much Work Experience
As a new graduate without much work experience, students can gain a competitive advantage by focusing on networking, volunteering and applying to entry-level positions at organizations that offer opportunities for advancement, Brentley said.
“Participating in co-curricular events is another great way to gain knowledge and network with professionals in the industry that can help students get their foot in the door,” Brentley said. “SU, Online offers a large variety of live speaker events, honor societies, clubs and organizations — as well as a great mentoring program for students to participate in.”
Brentley advises students with very little on-the-job experience to work with their career services advisor to create a resume highlighting the knowledge, skills and experience they gained as a student at South University.