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New College Grads Face Slightly Brighter Job Search

By Saumya Vaishampayan, Special to the Boston Business Journal
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BOSTON (CBS) – The good news for emerging job graduates is hiring is on the upswing.

But a brighter employment picture isn’t lessening the anxiety of newly minted grads, who face the real-world lesson that good job opportunities still remain elusive.

Employers are expecting to hire 10.2 percent more college graduates this year than in 2011, according to a survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

In a separate survey, NACE reported that the overall median salary for graduates is 4.5 percent higher this year than in 2011.

Employers are showing distinct signs of hiring undergraduates again, which are indicative of the broader market, but the job search is still challenging for college seniors.

“It’s very competitive because you’re in this vast pool of thousands of resumes,” said Kaitlyn Sanders, a senior majoring in biology at Northeastern University.

On-campus recruiting programs offer a way for students to get an edge in the application process.

There has been an increase this year in the involvement of employers on campuses across the board through career fairs, information sessions and on-campus recruitment efforts.

In comparison with last year, Maria Stein, the director of career services at Northeastern, has noticed a 40-percent increase in postings for full-time jobs.

There has also been an approximately 50-percent rise in on-campus interviews and about 60-percent more employers taking part in career fairs at Northeastern.

Full-time hiring at PricewaterhouseCoopers has increased by 15 percent from two years ago and intern hiring had grown by 28 percent in the same period, according to Kerry Stakem, the firm’s Northeast market recruiting leader.

She has overseen PwC’s campus recruiting and experience recruiting efforts for the Northeast region for the last four years.

“We’ve had a fantastic recruiting year this year. The quality of students is really intense,” she said.

Lisa van der Pool of the Boston Business Journal can be seen weekdays at 6 a.m. on WBZ-TV.

You can follow Lisa on Twitter at @lvanderpool.

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