Job Picture Begins to Brighten for 2011 Grads

Job Picture Begins to Brighten for 2011 Grads


NACE sees rise in job offers for 2011 grads.

2011 Student Survey

The murky job picture college grads anticipated facing as they began looking for work this year appears not be as thick as some had expected. Certainly, the past few years have been challenging for all jobseekers, but the market is clearly on the mend.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers in its “2011 Student Survey” has found that job offers to members of the class of 2011 are on the rise, with 41 percent of students reported to having received an offer, up from 38 percent in 2010. Notably, students are being selective too, turning down offers in greater numbers than in years past.1

Selective Students

Said Marilyn Mackes, NACE executive director, “We’re seeing many more seniors applying for jobs this year, and we’re also seeing more turning down job offers.” That explains why the just 24 percent of college seniors say they have a job to go to once they graduate, the same percentage as in 2010. More offers are being made, but grads are carefully weighing their choices.

This year’s senior class appears more bullish compared to last year’s class too. Three-quarters of the students surveyed reported that they have applied for a job, up from just 45.5 percent last year. Last year, the economy was just beginning its slow rebound with unemployment about one percentage point higher than it is today. Many students “read the tea leaves” and decided to put off their job search for several months or signed up for graduate school, delaying the inevitable by a year or two.

Challenges Remain

Clearly, there are many challenges that remain for today’s graduates. For those still looking for work, networking is one way to help grads find employment. Dr. Katharine Hansen, writing for Quintessential Careers lists five career networking strategies for new college grads. She advises grads to conduct informational interviews; cultivate network contacts; make use of business cards as a form of networking; show gratitude; and make use of online social media to complement existing face-to-face contacts.2

Finally, you’re looking for permanent work consider the company where you interned while in college. NACE reported in April that companies turned more than half of all interns into full-time hires this year.


1 NACE; Job Offers to College Class of 2011 Rise; May 5, 2011

2 Quintessential Careers; Top 5 Career Networking Strategies for New College Grads and Entry-level Job-Seekers; Katharine Hansen


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Categories: Campus News