Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Cover Story: Here's Your Diploma; Here's Your Job So Many Choices

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Cover Story: Here's Your Diploma; Here's Your Job So Many Choices

Article excerpt

It starts to sounds like a broken record - the best job market in a quarter century, starting salaries that look like a misprint, signing bonuses, the opportunity to do challenging work right out of the starting blocks.

College grads will step off the podium this spring -just as they did last spring - into a job market that is magna cum laude, the best in 28 years. Many, especially those with technology skills, can pick from multiple job offers at salaries that make parents start sentences with "Why, when I was your age...": $30,000, $40,000, and up.

The tight job market wants to snap up as much skilled talent as possible, but there's not enough of it to go around. The number of graduates coming out of colleges and universities has started to decline. It looks temporary, but it also looks like a trend through the year 2000. This spring's job market for college graduates looks like another one for the history books, the best in 27 years. Just ask Michael Daher, a senior at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. No less than five companies came knocking on his door, competing to be his career choice. They offered the marketing major salaries from the mid-$30,000s to the mid-$40s. Plus a signing bonus. So he signed - for a consulting job in the Cleveland office of accounting giant Deloitte & Touche. "It's an exciting job market," he says. "I got to be nice and choosy." The company even antes up the tuition for an MBA if he stays for two years. Then there's Anteneh Zewde, a senior at the University of Cincinnati. He selected from a menu of seven offers, finally settling on an engineering job at E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. for $47,000 a year. In its annual study of the college job outlook, the Collegiate Employment Research Institute at Michigan State University finds the best prospects ever, says Patrick Scheetz, the institute's chairman. The reasons? Simple economics: supply and demand. America's strong economy needs as much talent as its colleges can deliver. But they're not delivering; 1996 brought a lull in the number of graduates, and experts see it continuing through 2000 (see chart, right). "What makes this a phenomenal year is how widespread the job offers are," says Britt Beemer, president of America's Research Group in Charleston, S.C. The booming economy kept 128 million people working last year, and the unemployment rate currently sits at a 28-year low, 4.3 percent. Employers responding to this year's Michigan State study anticipated the greatest hiring increase since the study began in the early 1970s. Many of these new jobs take aim at graduating college seniors, because they cost employers less than experienced workers, says Mr. Beemer. Even so, tight competition has raised the cost of these entry-level jobs. Some employers come to the negotiating table with signing bonuses ranging from $1,500 to as much as $20,000 in exceptional cases. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.