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Three-Quarters of Employers Will Hire New Grads in 2017

CareerBuilder's latest survey reveals 74% of employers say they plan to hire recent college graduates this year, up from 67% last year and the highest outlook since 2007. Half (50%) plan to offer recent grads higher pay than last year (compared to 37% last year), and 39% of employers hiring recent grads this year will pay a starting salary of $50,000 or more (compared to 27% last year).

Three-Quarters of Employers Will Hire New Grads in 2017

"Competition for soon-to-be college grads is escalating to a degree we haven't seen in the last 10 years," said Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer for CareerBuilder. "In the current environment, where job unemployment continues to decrease and there's continued competition for sought-after skills, employers are especially attracted to college graduates, and the fresh perspective and skills they can bring to the workforce."

Expected starting salaries for recent graduates:

Under $30,000: 23% 
$30,000 to less than $40,000: 21%
$40,000 to less than $50,000: 18%
$50,000 and higher: 39%

The majority of employers (70%) say they are willing to negotiate salary offers when extending a job offer to a recent college graduate and most employers hiring recent college graduates this year start recruiting candidates during their senior year (45%) versus junior year (16%), sophomore year (6%) or freshman year (8%). 

Top 5 Functions Employers Hiring Recent Grads Are Recruiting For

  1. Information technology (33%)
  2. Customer service jobs (24%)
  3. Business development (23%)
  4. Finance/accounting (20%)
  5. Production (18%)

Top 5 Most In-Demand Majors for Employers Hiring Recent Grads

  1. Business (30%)
  2. Engineering (26%)
  3. Computer and Information Sciences (23%)
  4. Engineering Technologies (16%)
  5. Communications Technologies (13%)

Top 5 Skills Employers Say Recent Grads Lack for the Workplace

  1. Interpersonal skills (50%)
  2. Problem-solving skills (45%)
  3. Teamwork (39%)
  4. Oral communication (39%)
  5. Leadership (38%)
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