If most people had to guess about the employment prospects for recent college graduates, they would probably paint a pretty dim picture. The economy is certainly not hitting on all cylinders right now, and there are more companies laying off folks right now than there are companies hiring. Coupled with the timid business investment environment, you can see why most have this view. Yet things might not be so bad after all, at least for some graduates, according to a press release from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).
NACE reports that, while job opportunities for college graduates are down in number, salaries for college graduates have actually increased 7.1 percent over last year. So for those graduates lucky enough to get a job, they are in great shape. The rest are probably doomed to spend some more time living with Mom and Dad.
On the surface, this wage increase may seem like a surprise, but at the same time it really shouldn’t be. In this competitive job market, companies are enjoying the luxury of selecting only the best and the brightest. For the increased productivity they are going to get from these individuals they are willing and able to pay more. During the last several years, businesses have been focusing a lot on increased productivity. Ideally, businesses want to have as few people as possible producing as much possible, while still being economically beneficial, of course.
If you happen to be in college, know that it is now more important than ever to set yourself apart. The best of the best have great prospects, and the rest do not. Moral of the story: Make sure you are one of the best.
On another note, if you have the right skill set and aren’t interested in corporate America, then maybe you should consider starting your own business. More than ever, young people are making a name for themselves as entrepreneurs. It is hard work, loaded with risk, but just take a look at Bill Gates or Michael Dell (of course, they both dropped out of college, though I don't necessarily recommend that path), or any number of other young entrepreneurs to see the potential rewards.