I have good news for the bold and courageous class of 2021: there are plenty of jobs for new college graduates.
It hasn’t been an easy year for any of us, let alone this spring’s new generation of college graduates. They have spent much of the last year learning from a distance, carefully socializing, missing out on many traditional college experiences. It is a committed and hardworking group; students who knew the best way to prepare for success after the pandemic was to stay engaged and on track with their studies. They graduate with a remarkable level of dedication and persistence, and many across the country are not able to get the traditional leaving experience they might have hoped for.
But despite the year we have been through, despite the nagging persistence of the pandemic and the painful economic downturn from which we are still not recovering, all signs point to employers being eager to hire this remarkable new group of college graduates.
In fact, employers plan to hire 7.2% more new college graduates in the 2021 class than those in the 2020 class, according to a report. recent report of the National Association of Colleges and Employers. This compares very well to a report in the fall, where employers planned to hire slightly fewer college graduates.
Better yet, nearly 30% of employers polled for the same report said they would hire more college graduates this year, nearly double the proportion of employers who said this in the fall.
We are seeing this trend come to life at Pace University, where our Career Services team works hard to place our students in internships and our graduates in jobs.
A year ago, as the pandemic spread across the United States, we saw a real slowdown in job vacancies, reports Phyllis Mooney, our remarkable CEO of Career Services. But there was soon an increase in some critical sectors, like healthcare, technology and the supply chain, she says. Now the economy is picking up and Mooney sees the job opportunities coming.
In fact, since March 1, Mooney and his team have posted 6,048 full-time jobs. Opportunities arose in the areas of health and human resources, software engineering and sales, web development and accounting.
During the same period, over 150 employers attended career fairs at Pace, all looking to hire our new graduates. The Big Four accounting firms recruit our students, as well as the major banks, regional healthcare providers, and all kinds of other firms.
The resilience that the 2021 class has shown this year will serve them well as they search for all available jobs. These graduates know how to be flexible, make the most of what is offered to them and they know how to be creative in finding new opportunities as the world changes around them. They have a wonderful perspective on the past 13 or 14 months, the lessons they have learned and the approaches that have helped them thrive, that will give solid and compelling answers to interview questions and demonstrate their thinking skills to employers. critical and lifelong learning. .
Our Career Services team also posted 1,967 internships, which are a key part of our training model and also an integral part of future career success. In fact, NACE recently reported that the internship conversion rate among surveyed employers – that is, the rate of interns receiving job offers from these same employers – has increased by almost 20 percent. Currently, this rate is 66.4%, against 55.5% a year earlier. The study also found that the acceptance rate had not budged – interns were accepting job offers as often as they were a year ago – meaning the increase was entirely due to the fact that employers offer more offers to interns.
Mooney and his team expect the offer rate to increase – more and more, they believe, successful internships will lead to job openings. Even in a technological and often remote world, they see networking remaining the key to job hunting, with around 80% of offers resulting from a human connection (albeit through Zoom). They therefore continue to champion the benefits of internships and the importance of taking advantage of all available networking opportunities.
They also note that diversity, equity and inclusion are at the forefront of the recruiting process, becoming priorities in all organizations, and not just in their HR offices. With over 80% of employers implementing DEI recruiting efforts, this can be another opportunity for students to connect, network, and find employment.
The bottom line is that while this has been a tough year and we’re not completely out of the woods yet, the world is opening up, and so are the job opportunities – for all of our students. Class 2021, you have successfully completed your college education under some of the most difficult circumstances possible. Now employers are ready and eager to hire you.