Class of '07 gets plenty of job offers

Published: Wednesday, January 24, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 24, 2007 at 1:33 a.m.
Employers are diving back into the fountain of youth.
This year is shaping up as the strongest for college recruiting since the downturn earlier this decade, colleges report. Traditionally heavy recruiters, including management consulting firms, investment banks and accounting firms, are intensifying college recruiting efforts. They're also facing more competition from other employers in such fields as technology, consumer products, government and even nonprofits.
Employers plan to hire 17 percent more graduates from the class of 2007 than they got from the class of 2006, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers. That would make this year the strongest job market since 2000-2001, the association says. More than half of the surveyed employers said they planned to increase hiring; only 5 percent planned a decrease. Salaries were forecast to rise 4.6 percent, according to another survey by the same group.
''We now again have the nice problem of having to help some of our students choose among multiple job offers,'' says Jack Tinker, director of recruiting at the career office of Connecticut College. Mike Hendel, interim director for the career center at Carleton College in Northfield, Minn., says he, too, is counseling students deciding among ''two or three really good offers.''
Behind the increased recruiting are a relatively strong economy, growing business demands and heady corporate profits.
Some companies are also planning for future work force needs as the baby boomers' retirement looms. Employers ''are finally starting to get the message that (they) really need to do more'' with college recruiting as baby boomers age, says Dan Black, director of campus recruiting for the Americas at Ernst & Young LLP.
At New York University, close to 40 percent of seniors have job offers, which is more at this point in the year than in any year since 1998-99, estimates Trudy Steinfeld, executive director of career development. Salaries are up about 5 percent to 10 percent since last year, and companies are offering bigger signing bonuses - up to $10,000, she says.
At the University of Chicago, 119 companies conducted on-campus interviews with seniors during the fall quarter, compared with 93 a year earlier. Employers posted 180 jobs in that quarter, up from 135 a year before.
Employers plan to hire 17 percent more graduates from the class of 2007 than they got from 2006.

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