Higher salaries, increased hiring make for positive job market, according to SU Career Services report
Higher salaries, increased hiring make for positive job market, according to SU Career Services report May 02, 2007Carol K. Masiclatclkim@syr.edu
A report released by the Syracuse University Center for Career Services indicates that 2006 graduates entered a stronger job market than the previous year, with higher placement rates and increased average salaries. The Class of 2006 Placement Report was based on survey data collected from bachelor’s degree recipients who graduated in December 2005, and May, June and August 2006. Of the 2,204 graduates contacted, 1,052 responded, representing 48 percent of the graduating class.
About 95 percent of these graduates landed full-time jobs or attended graduate school last year, and 94 percent of those employed say their jobs are related to their career goals. The figures increased from those in the Center for Career Services’ last report, issued in May 2006, when the rate was 92 percent for both total placement and perceived relation to career goals.
“Employers have been telling us for two years that they are seeing increased competition for hiring new college graduates,” says Michael Cahill, director of the Center for Career Services. “The improved employment results for the Class of 2006 certainly reflect the benefits of that competition for our graduates. It appears that the best is yet to come, as the job market looks even better for the Class of 2007.”
According to the report, 79 percent of graduates said they found full-time employment in 2006, an increase from the previous year’s figure of 74 percent, and the highest placement rate since it reached 80 percent in 2000. Salaries are also on the upswing. In 2006, average salaries for SU grads increased once again.
With an average salary of $39,111, the Class of 2006 enjoyed a 6 percent increase from 2005, when the average was $36,800. The recent increases followed a three-year period when salaries either remained steady or declined.
Another positive sign for this year’s new employees: Many of last year’s alumni secured jobs before graduation. According to the report, 73 percent of graduates obtained their position by three months after graduation, compared to 68 percent in 2005; 41 percent of graduates secured their positions before graduation. This is consistent with national data, which show that most students still graduate without jobs. The highest rate of pre-graduation placement occurred in the School of Architecture (60 percent), The L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science (59 percent), and the Martin J. Whitman School of Management (57 percent). The high rates are attributed to the fact that many of those students receive their position through internship programs and on-campus recruiting activities.
Once again, networking, pursuing non-advertised job leads and applying directly to the organization were reported as the most effective career search tools, leading to 38 percent of full-time jobs. Internships resulted in more placements than last year, generating 17 percent of hires. Technology remained an important tool in the job-hunting process, leading to 15 percent of hires. These results help to shape the direction of career services at SU. In the coming year, the Center for Career Services will focus efforts on engaging employers, getting them more involved in on-campus recruiting, and creating internship opportunities and programming for students. Equal efforts will be given to enhancing the career-related technology available to students and developing programs and services to help students implement job search strategies appropriate to their interests.
Because of the strong job market, fewer students are opting to attend graduate school. Sixteen percent of Class of 2006 respondents headed for graduate school, compared to the previous three classes, from which 18 percent attended. This is common in years when good opportunities are plentiful. Of those who reported that they are attending graduate school full time, 26 percent are enrolled at SU.
Seventeen percent of students pursuing graduate education are in law school, up 14 percent from last year and 16 percent from 2004. Fourteen percent report that they are attending medical programs, up from 7 percent in 2005 and 12 percent in 2004.
In 2006, SU graduates continued to keep their knowledge and skills in New York state. Fifty-one percent of full-time employees are working in New York, a slight decrease over the year before. Like last year, 8 percent reported staying in the Central New York area to work; 18 percent found work in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The Class of 2006 found employment in 37 states and several foreign countries, with 2.5 percent finding employment abroad. More graduates are planning to attend graduate school in New York. Fifty-four percent are attending graduate school in New York, and 23 percent will attend schools in adjoining states.
According to Cahill, the Class of 2007 also has excellent prospects. In its Job Outlook 2007 report, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) stated that all employers, across all sectors, plan to hire nearly 20 percent more new college graduates in 2007 than in 2006. NACE’s Salary Survey indicates that entry-level salaries and signing bonuses are on the rise, a real boon for graduates.
For more information on the NACE survey, visit http://www.naceweb.org.