New grad job market improving, but still intense

Job OpeningsCompetition will be intense when new college grads hit the job market this spring, but their chances of landing a job are improving, says a report from outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

Some 1.7 million graduates are about to start the grand post-college job hunt. As is usually the case, new grads who are flexible about relocating and those in hot job fields will fare best.

Fields with the best job prospects include: accounting and finance, engineering, computer science, sales and marketing, education, and health care and social services among, according to Challenger’s annual look at the new grad job market.


Private sector hiring dropped to 121,000 new jobs last month, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But most economists see the dip as temporary. The economy is improving and for the last two years has consistently added jobs jobs each month. Since February 2010, the economy has added more than 4 million new jobs.

“Job creation has been stronger in some months than others, but the general trend has been upward. The private sector has seen positive employment gains for 25 consecutive months. The job market still has a long way to go before full recovery, but the good news is that young job seekers with four-year degrees are in growing demand,” CEO John A. Challenger says in a news release.

Millions of jobs were cut during the Great Recession as companies slashed payrolls, closed factories and made other painful choices as they struggled to stay afloat. Now, as the economy recovers, many of those same companies are rehiring – building “bench strength” – as Challenger calls it.

Challenger’s report: Annual College Grad Job Outlook