How bad is the job market for new college grads? Not quite as bad as it has been, according to Nancy Dudak, director of career services at Villanova University.
“Five years ago, a new grad would have five or six different job offers. Those days are gone,” Dudak says. “On the other hand, last year, a new grad might have had no offers at all. This year, many people have one or two. People aren’t unrealistic about the economy, so they’re happy to get those two.”
Statistics bear out Dudak’s observations. The National Association of Colleges and Employers surveyed more than 13,000 graduating seniors between Feb. 9 and April 30, 2010. Of those students, 24.4 percent already have jobs waiting for them after graduation. In 2009, only 19.7 percent had jobs lined up by April 30.
The biggest difference is that this year, people who were offered jobs took them. Though the numbers being offered jobs were similar (39 percent this year, 40 percent last year), the number accepting those jobs was much higher in 2010: 59 percent this year vs. 45 percent last year. Of course, not everyone has started their job search. Only 45.5 percent of the survey’s respondents had started looking by April 30.
“It’s going to take time,” Dudak reminds job hunters. “Start now, and be prepared to persevere.”