Job Outlook for 2019 Graduates and Beyond

Job market for the class of 2019

The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) reports the job market for the Class of 2019 is excellent.   But in the longer-term, there are increasing signals that suggest job market concerns for students who will graduate in subsequent years.

The NACE annual job outlook survey during the fall included 170+ employers (response rate of 18.5%).  Almost 17% reported they plan to hire more new graduates in 2019 than 2018.  That’s the best initial hiring outlook that NACE has reported since the Class of 2007.  Key factors for those reporting plans to increase new college hiring include an improved economy, company growth, anticipated retirements, and a focus on early talent/succession planning.  Also more employers report they plan on converting increasing numbers of interns to full-time hires.

But the director of the Career Development Center, Bill Fletcher, cautions that we should begin focusing beyond the job market for spring 2019 graduates.   Fletcher said the volatility of financial markets and the political environment are signals students in the coming years will face a more difficult task in finding employment.   “We need to start thinking now about what happens when the job market sours.  It’s not a question of if; it’s only a question of when the downturn will happen and we need to start planning now for how we can best assist students in a job market that’s not as positive as today’s.”