Four myths debunked about the job market for recent grads

Employers are bullish on 2015 hiring trends

The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) has released a new survey with good news for recent graduates looking for jobs, but in a post for Bloomberg Business, Akane Otani breaks down four trends that are easy to miss behind the numbers.

NACE surveyed 1,029 employers in 21 sectors on their hiring practices and outlook for the coming year. Overall, employers say they plan to hire 9.6% more college graduates than last year. However, Otani writes that there are four nuances in the job outlook that are easy to miss.

MBA holders may not have such a great advantage. Only 10.6% of employers say they plan to hire workers with an MBA in the coming year. That is significantly less than the 82% who plan to hire those with a bachelor's degree and the 17.3% who said the same for master's degree holders.

Granted, there are many more applicants for positions that require only require a bachelor's, but the survey data is a reminder that those with advanced degrees will be competing for a smaller number of positions.

Liberal arts graduates have better odds than you might think. The majors with the strongest job prospects were engineering, business, and computers science. However, liberal arts degrees such as humanities and communications were in higher demand than one might assume. Overall, such graduates were below, but close to, the "middle of the pack," writes Otani.

Why employers love liberal arts graduates

Competition for jobs is decreasing. Over the past year, employers posted an average of 148 jobs each. That is a significant increase from the 2013-2014 average of 99 postings. But over the same period, the average number of applicants per post actually fell from 28.4 to 23.4. That is good news for job seekers because it suggests competition for positions is likely decreasing.

The job market is poised to grow. About 56% of employers plan to hire more people in the coming year than they did last year. That is an increase from the 48% who said the same last year. Thirty-two percent will be cutting positions, will 12% will keep hiring levels flat (Otani, Bloomberg Business, 4/15).

The takeaway:A new survey suggests the job market for college graduates is getting stronger, with less competition for open positions.

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