2017 college grads: You’re entering the best job market in 10 years

college grad forecast

74 PERCENT OF EMPLOYERS SAY THEY PLAN TO HIRE RECENT COLLEGE GRADUATES THIS YEAR, UP FROM 67 PERCENT LAST YEAR AND THE HIGHEST OUTLOOK SINCE 2007.

This year's college graduates have an extra reason to throw their caps in the air: According to a new survey from CareerBuilder, 74 percent of employers say they plan to hire recent college graduates this year, up from 67 percent last year and the highest outlook since 2007. Half plan to offer recent college graduates higher pay than last year (compared to 37 percent last year), and 39 percent of employers hiring recent college graduates will pay a starting salary of $50,000 or more (compared to 27 percent last year).

While employers are looking to hire candidates across various educational backgrounds, some majors stand out more than others. Employers hiring recent college graduates this year state the following majors are the most in-demand at their firms:

Information technology (33 percent) and customer service jobs (24 percent) top the list of functions for which employers hiring recent college grads this year are recruiting. Opportunities also abound in business development (23 percent), finance/accounting (20 percent) and production (18 percent).

What can you expect to get paid?
When it comes to pay, half of employers who plan to hire recent college graduates this year will offer higher starting salaries than they did last year. Forty percent expect no change in salary offers, and 10 percent expect a decrease in starting salaries.

Three in five of these employers (60 percent) say they will make offers to students before they graduate. Expected starting salaries for recent graduates break down as follows:

  • Under $30,000: 23 percent
  • $30,000 to less than $40,000: 21 percent
  • $40,000 to less than $50,000: 18 percent
  • $50,000 and higher: 39 percent

The majority of employers (70 percent) say they are willing to negotiate salary offers when extending a job offer to a recent college graduate.

Get pointers on what to know – and what to do – when you're starting your first job.