The Class of 2022 is likely to receive more job offers than graduating seniors in previous years, according to a new report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).
Employers plan to hire 31.6% more new college graduates, up 5% from their original hiring projections in the fall, according to NACE’s Job Outlook 2022 Spring Update. Then, employers indicated plans to hire 26.6% more new grads from the Class of 2022 than they did from the Class of 2021.
“We’re seeing hiring increases across industries,” says Shawn VanDerziel, Executive Director at NACE. In fact, 16% of respondents that provided hiring numbers plan increases of 100% or more. The oil and gas extraction industry is doubling its college hires and has the largest projected increase at 105.9%.
Labor Market Very Strong
Equally optimistic is Michigan State University’s 51st Annual Recruiting Trends Survey & Report which finds employers “buoyant and resilient” about opportunities available to college students. Sixty-six percent of employers surveyed describe the overall new college labor market as very good to excellent.
“For new college grads, it's going to be a very strong labor market,” says Phil Gardner, Publisher of the Recruiting Trends Report.
At Sacramento State, seniors graduating this year, recent graduates, and undergraduates looking for internships “have many more opportunities,” says Melissa Repa, who directs Sac State’s Career Center. “It’s a really exciting time.”
Repa points to the online jobs board Handshake, which Sac State students use to search for opportunities, to tell the story: Employers posted about 24,000 jobs targeting Sac State students on Handshake during the past three months, compared to 24,000 in all of 2020.
And in March, the campus hosted a virtual career fair featuring more than 140 companies, nearly double the number that participated in spring 2020. “To say that we are overwhelmed by employer demand in the Career Center is an understatement,” Repa says. “It’s been a 180-degree turnaround.”
Opportunities abound in many careers, including science and technology, health, social work, nursing, and marketing, she adds.
Software Developers Most Sought-After
Looking solely at tech careers, the recent CompTIA Tech Jobs Report finds the unemployment rate for tech occupations in March 2022 is 1.3%, its lowest level since June 2019.
Employer job postings show that the search for tech talentis widespread across industries and geographies. Companies in professional, scientific and technical services (70,377), manufacturing (52,007) and finance and insurance industries (49,587) had the most tech jobs postings. Demand was also strong in the information, retail trade, health care and social assistance, public administration and education services sectors.
By metro area, job posting data suggests that hiring momentum may be picking up in some markets that began 2022 with a modest level of activity. New York City (+3,571), Chicago (+1,912), Atlanta (+1,379), Philadelphia (+1,279) and Charlotte (+1,204) topped the list of the metro areas with the largest month-over-month increases in job postings.
Of the job postings, software developers and engineers are far and away the most sought-after roles companies are looking to fill, with more than 115,000 job postings across the country. IT support specialists, IT project managers, systems engineers and architects and network engineers and architects are also in high demand.
The momentum is expected to continue. CompTIA estimates a 2% increase – nearly 178,000 new jobs – in 2022, with 48 states projected to add tech workers. Data scientists and analysts (4.3%), cybersecurity professionals (4%), software developers (3.9%), and computer and information research scientists (3.5%) lead the list of occupations expected to see strong growth in 2022.
To identify the best first jobs, WalletHub compared 108 entry-level occupations across three key dimensions: Immediate opportunity, growth potential and job hazards. They then measured these dimensions using 12 metrics, including average starting salary, projected job growth by 2030 and typicality of working over 40 hours a week. The weighted average across all metrics calculated each job’s total score and rank.
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