PHOENIX — This week, nearly 20,000 Valley students will go from the classroom to a career.
But as they throw their cap in the air and start applying for jobs, what can these new graduates expect in the job market?
The ABC15 Arizona In-Depth team looked at data from the National Association for Colleges and Employers. It shows a boost in hiring for new graduates compared to the class of 2020.
Employers responded in the spring 2021 report that they will increase hiring by more than 7 percent, a notable increase from fall 2020, when they anticipated a slight reduction in college hiring.
Information from NACE
While the association stresses it is not a complete rebound to pre-pandemic levels, it is a reassuring figure.
The three reasons why NACE believes there is improvement this year include the vaccine distribution, the re-opening of businesses, and a steady improvement in the job market.
I spoke with an industry expert and professor of Supply Chain Management at Arizona State University's W.P. Carey School of Business, Hitendra Chaturvedi.
"What do you think these companies are looking to gain from some new graduates coming in," we asked. "What can they bring to the table to these companies who have suffered so much in the last year?"
"So, there is a huge lag in terms of filling up the existing positions," Chaturvedi responded. "And the reason they are looking for that is because they are looking for growth. It is not only status quo of business, but also looking for that next growth, and what they're looking for from these students who are graduating is... a generation that has seen the hardships of coronavirus and appreciate that and therefore appreciate the hard work that they need to put into their careers, so it's a win-win for them."
Companies are also willing to pay more for new graduates too, in order to fill those gaps. The NACE said they have seen a 7 percent increase in starting salaries.