Job forecast favorable for this year’s college grads

A low unemployment rate means fewer people are applying for available openings.

(Prasit Rodphan/BigStock)

(Prasit Rodphan/BigStock)

The employment outlook for graduating college students may be the best in years.

Job prospects for the Class of 2018 have improved because a low unemployment rate means fewer people are applying for available openings, said Carl Van Horn, the director of the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University.

“Even though there are jobs aplenty compared to previous years, that doesn’t mean the salaries of those jobs have gone up enormously — although we are seeing signs of positive wage gains in some sectors,” he said. “And we’re even finding, for the first time in several years, some employers are beginning to pay hiring bonuses.”

With average student loan debt now more than $35,000, Van Horn says many graduates are hoping to get full-time work as soon as they can.

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Graduates with specialized skills are most likely to get job offers.

“If you think about a person who, let’s say, has a master’s degree in business and an engineering degree, they’re going to get snapped up right away if they’re in computer sciences, for example,” he said. “But if you have a baccalaureate degree in history, you won’t necessarily get your way into a job as quickly. But that doesn’t mean you may not eventually find a job.”

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