While the Class of 2015 is full of high hopes when it comes to job prospects after college, the classes of 2013 and 2014 can provide a dose of reality.
A new Accenture study of new and recent graduates finds 49 percent of 2013 and 2014 graduates consider themselves underemployed, an upward trend that continues, researchers say. Only 52 percent of those graduates say they have full-time jobs, down from 68 percent in a survey of 2011/2012 graduates.
Part of the problem appears to be employers themselves, according to the Accenture Strategy 2015 U.S. College Graduate Employment Study. The “weakest links” appear to be employers’ lack of investment and commitment to entry-level hiring, development and culture.
This doesn’t mean that companies aren’t hiring. Employers are expected to hire almost 10 percent more new graduates from the Class of 2015 than the previous year, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, (See the AJC’s recent report on hiring for the Class of 2015).
“New college graduates have been doing everything they can to strengthen their link in the overall talent supply chain,” the study said. Among the other findings in the Accenture study:
• 63 percent of 2015 grads were encouraged to pursue a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) degree, compared with 52 percent of grads from 2013 and 2014. STEM was the most popular major this year.
• 82 percent of new grads looked at the job market before choosing a major—up from 75 percent of 2014 grads.
• 74 percent expect to be with their first job for at least three years, up from just 43 percent of 2013-2014 grads.
• 72 percent participated in an internship during college, up from 65 percent of prior-year graduates.
According to the recent AJC report, bachelor’s degrees are most in demand in business, engineering, computer and information sciences and math. The college majors most in demand are finance, accounting, and computer science.