Job opportunities on the rise: Five things new college grads should know

Thanks to improved job opportunities, this year’s crop of college graduates won’t have to hit the pavement quite as hard as their counterparts did in the past few years. Their spring job outlook is the best it’s been since 2007, with employers planning to hire 10 to 20 percent more new graduates this year than they did last year, according to two recent surveys. Here’s a breakdown of hiring and salary prospects for various industries, college majors, and skill sets:

1. Job prospects are good – unless you were hoping to work for the government

Melanie Stetson Freeman / The Christian Science Monitor

The best bets for college graduates this spring include oil and gas extraction; pharmaceutical manufacturing; computer and electronics manufacturing; and finance, insurance, and real estate. More than half the employers surveyed in these groups expect healthy hiring increases, and these companies plan to add an average of more than 100 new college grads, according to a survey of members of the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

Engineering and accounting look good as well, partly because a few companies are planning large hiring increases.

Employers in the government, retail, and information/media sector, on the other hand, expect college hiring to decline this year.

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