CHICAGO — The job outlook for 2013 college graduates is showing
signs of slight improvement, according to officials at DePaul University’s
“We have seen a 22 percent increase in job postings when
comparing July 1, 2012, to March 3, 2013, with the same period last year,” said
Gillian Steele, managing director of the Career Center. “The outcomes for 2012
were better than 2011.”
Meanwhile, there was a 19 percent increase in the number of
internships posted over the same period with a steady increase in the
percentage of paid internships, she said.
For graduating DePaul students, the hot jobs continue to be
finance, accounting/auditing and tax-related positions as well as business
analytics and analysis. There is also an abundance of jobs for information and
technology systems, project management and security professionals. Industries
with the largest increases include education, health care/social and human services,
hospitality and travel and technology.
A 2012 DePaul post-graduation survey showed that of the 2012
baccalaureate graduates who were working full-time, 84 percent were working in
fields related to their degree. For master’s degree recipients, 91 percent were
working in a field related to their degree.
The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE)
annual Job Outlook Spring Update shows that employers project a 2.1 percent
increase in hiring, down from the 13 percent they projected in fall 2012.
Still, nearly half of respondents report plans to increase their hiring in
More than 90 percent of respondents in the NACE survey
report plans to hire graduates at the bachelor’s degree level, the NACE survey
showed. Demand for MBA and other master’s degree graduates has increased
slightly over last year; half of respondents plan to hire MBAs and more than 60
percent expect to hire other master’s degree majors. In comparison, last year,
almost 44 percent of respondents planned to hire MBAs and 53 percent were
targeting other master’s degrees. At the doctorate level, graduates continue to
receive interest from just under one-quarter of respondents.
Within the academic disciplines, employers continue to
pursue graduates in the business, engineering and computer science fields.
These graduates generate the highest interest from respondents and generally
represent the largest percentage of their total new recruits, according to
According to the Recruiting Trends Report 2012-13,
internship programs again emerged as the top recruiting strategy used by most
employers (not including postings to college and organization websites). Almost
half the employers responding to the survey are using alumni to expand their
recruiting efforts. Alumni working for a company are an effective and important
means for identifying and recruiting talent from their alma mater.
Among the skills most in demand by employers are verbal
communication, decision-making and problem-solving, obtaining and processing
information, and planning, organizing and prioritizing work, according to NACE.
Some 71 percent of employers said they preferred candidates
with relevant work experience, according to NACE, and 91 percent prefer to have
candidates with working experience. At DePaul, 58 percent of those who had
academic internships reported that it led to employment, supporting the new
paradigm that internships have become the new entry-level jobs.
“Employers are looking for entry-level candidates with a
combination of education, skills and real-world experience,” Steele said.
“Attributes such as leadership, problem-solving and strong written
communication skills are at the top of the employers’ wish list.”
When talking with potential hiring managers and on resumes,
students should give good examples of these skills gained during internships,
part-time work, class projects, volunteer work and extracurricular activities, she
Before meeting employers at job fairs or interviews,
candidates need to do their research — they should know about the organization
and be able to ask relevant questions that demonstrate their knowledge and
interest, Steele said.
“Employers expect you to do your homework on their organizations,”
Steele said. “Create a list of your target organizations and concentrate on
connecting to and applying to those,” she said. “Employers want you to be
passionate about working for their organization, not just any organization.”
Overall, job seekers should stay positive. “Don’t listen to
negative comments about the job market — there are plenty of opportunities
through your college career services,” Steele said. “Remember it’s not just who
you know but who knows you. Make the most of your family, friends, faculty and
career services to connect with people in your target organizations.”
DePaul’s Career Center offers graduating students a
dedicated service, “senior season” in the spring quarter, which includes
capstone classroom presentations and visits, priority career advising,
on-the-spot resume reviews, job search and money management workshops, and
targeted outreach to those still seeking work at graduation. Also included is the
Just-in-Time Job Fair on June 18. For more information, visit http://careercenter.depaul.edu.
DePaul’s Alumni Relations works in partnership with the
Career Center to offer Corporate Connectors, a program to help DePaul students
and alumni make a smooth transition to a new job or prepare for an upcoming
interview at a specific corporation. Several hundred alumni have offered to
meet or correspond with fellow alumni or students who are applying to their
companies. These volunteers welcome DePaul-affiliated new hires or interns
who’ve recently joined their firms.
About DePaul University
With approximately 25,000 students, DePaul is the largest
Catholic university in the United States and the largest private, nonprofit
university in the Midwest. The university offers approximately 275 graduate and
undergraduate programs of study on three Chicago and two suburban campuses.
Founded in 1898, DePaul remains committed to providing a quality education
through personal attention to students from a wide range of backgrounds. For more
information, visit www.depaul.edu.