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Spring Grad Outlook

by Feb 28, 2008, 1:26 pm ET

It’s still early yet, but the Class of 2008 will be graduating sooner than you think. Here are some trends of note to help you on your path toward this year’s crop of new job candidates:

– Engineering services and accounting firms are among the employers showing the most interest in this year’s new college graduates, according to the Winter 2008 issue of Salary Survey. Other hot spots include consulting, financial services, retail, and petroleum products companies. Here’s a glimpse at the average starting salary offered by most employers:

  • Engineering Services: $56,114
  • Accounting Services: $49,085
  • Consulting Services: $55,262
  • Financial Services: $47,881
  • Retail/Wholesale Trade: $39,586
  • Petroleum & Coal Products: $59,227

– Speaking of petroleum careers, Oil & Gas Journal reports that encouraging new entrants to pursue petroleum careers is tougher in the West, compared with Africa and Asia, where the energy industry has a more acceptable public image and people compete for jobs in the industry. In particular, India and China produce thousands of graduates for the petroleum sector. The journal notes that global graduate supply is barely meeting the industry’s needs: between 2006 and 2010, the net supply of geologists and geophysicists entering the E&P industry is expected to be 60% and for petroleum engineers, 80%.

– The economy is not deterring employers from college recruiting plans, according to global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas. In fact, Challenger says interviews with several college career counselors suggest that college graduates will actually benefit from the downturn. Only 12% of companies have downgraded their college recruiting strategies and expect to hire fewer graduates than originally planned. And less than 3% of employers have cancelled campus recruiting visits or plans to attend job fairs. What about hiring trends? Challenger notes that 46% of companies plan to hire the same number of graduates as a year ago; 22% plan to hire more graduates; and 33% plan to hire fewer. (Challenger says companies hiring fewer new grads were already planning to trim hiring due to weakening corporate situations over the past year.)

– Did you know that nearly 30% of all college candidates attend schools with a population of fewer than 5,000 students? To help companies tap into the candidates at these schools, Honor Roll Online has consolidated the student population of the top small colleges, universities, and scholarship foundations in the United States. They say these efforts can help companies create and execute successful, cost-effective recruiting campaigns.

– Tom Halasz, the associate director of the Career Resource Center at the University of Florida, says current attrition levels suggest that college recruiting will remain strong as companies seek to replace employees leaving for other job opportunities, retirement, or to raise a family. Halasz says he sees a slowdown in construction and financial opportunities; instead of receiving eight to 10 job offers, seniors in the construction management program are receiving three to four offers.

This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to offer specific legal advice. You should consult your legal counsel regarding any threatened or pending litigation.