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The Class of 2017: Ready to Work
As summer starts to wind down, many
college graduates are eagerly searching
for their first “real” job. Lucky for them,
their prospects are good. In fact, the percentage of U.S. employers that plan to
bring on new college grads in 2017 is at
a 10-year high—74 percent. That’s up
from 67 percent in 2016, according to
employment services firm CareerBuilder.
The demand for young workers is
being driven by low unemployment
and the difficulty businesses are having finding workers to fill in-demand
“I’m hearing employers saying that
they’re not finding the right people, so
they are turning to new graduates,” said
Roberto Angelo, CEO and co-founder
of AfterCollege, a career network. “You
can either poach workers—which is
hard—or you can go out and recruit
them on campus.”
The New Workers
This year’s grads make up the lead-
ing edge of Generation Z, who could
turn out to differ from Millennials in
that they may be more pragmatic and
might be willing to remain with the right
employer for a decade or more.
In addition to receiving a solid education, Generation Z students have demonstrated work-ready skills through internships and co-op programs, which can
give them a leg up.
Other benefits to hiring new graduates, according to Trent Silver, a career
coach and the CEO of Nerdster, which
provides academic support to college
• Technological expertise. They grew
up in an era of rapid technological
• An eagerness to learn and work.
They bring excitement and energy to
their first regular full-time jobs.
• Long-term loyalty. They’re more
likely to stay on board when they have
early exposure to and identify with the
Show Them the Money
Most undergraduates, encumbered with
high student loan debt, want to make
good money after college and are willing
to give up greater job security and richer
benefits packages in exchange for big-
ger paychecks, according to a new study
sponsored by LendEDU, a marketplace
for private student loans.
Here are students’ top three considerations when deciding where to work:
• Good pay (cited by 72 percent of
• Strong ethical culture ( 14 percent).
• Good training program (8 percent).
“Good pay was expected to be
the most selected answer, but it was
not expected to blow away the other
answers like it did,” said Mike Brown,
research analyst at LendEDU.
To be sure, the best time for people to earn less, Brown pointed out, is
when they are right out of college. “The
opportunity to make more money will
always be there down the road, but a
resume-boosting training program or a
strong ethical culture that instills good
values may not.”
When college students were asked what
they expect to make at their first job
after college, they responded:
• Under $40,000 per year ( 26 percent).
• $40,000 to $60,000 per year ( 36
• $60,000 to $80,000 per year ( 21
• Over $80,000 per year ( 17 percent).
It turns out they’re in the ballpark.
“Most college graduates should expect
to see a salary between $40,000 and
$60,000,” Brown said. “Additionally,
many recent graduates can expect to
earn under $40,000, which was the sec-
ond most common answer.”
The scariest part of the “real world”
is “having to pay taxes and set a budget,”
nearly half of graduates said. Welcome
to adulthood, kids—and best of luck!
—Steve Bates and
Stephen Miller, CEBS