The Good and the Bad: Job Outlook for 2010 Grads

College students graduating last year faced some daunting hiring prospects as the economy grinded to a halt and more people were being laid off than being hired. Students found themselves competing for entry-level jobs alongside professionals, making the job climate even more turbulent. The job outlook for this year’s college graduates is fortunately rosier than it was for those who graduated in 2009, but it is still far from optimal.

The hiring rate for 2009 graduates in the struggling economy plummeted 40 percent until it reached the lowest it had been in decades, according to CNN Money. This year’s batch of college graduates are leaving their alma maters to face a similarly tough job market, but unlike last year’s graduates, 2010 degree holders will benefit from a small increase in hiring as the economy languidly revives itself. Medium and large-sized companies, still looking to cut their budgets, are expecting to hire less, but graduates will find great opportunities with the numerous smaller organizations scattered across the country. Smaller companies are expecting to increase hiring by 15 percent, according to CNN, which is good news for those looking to begin their careers straight out of school.

The job outlook for 2010 graduates also varies depending on the graduate’s field of expertise. Some industries are growing more rapidly than others, and the fastest growing industries are typically more likely to hire new graduates than those that are experiencing little to no growth. For example, those who hold degrees in environmental science and statistics will see the most demand, especially with the rapid growth of the green sector. Those who earned their degrees in nursing will also see favorable employment prospects because the registered nursing profession is projected to increase employment opportunities by 22 percent during the 2008-2018 decade, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Graduates who have degrees in the environmental and health fields will undoubtedly experience the most positive employment aspects upon graduation, especially if they are willing to work in entry-level positions. On the other hand, those whose expertise lies in computer engineering or specific business niches will experience tougher job climates because of labor outsourcing and competition with professionals who are back on the hiring block after being laid off.

Essentially, the job outlook for 2010 college graduates is still bleak, but it is not impossible for new degree holders to find rewarding employment opportunities. Graduates can better their chances of employment by skipping large companies and seeking employment with smaller organizations. Those who majored in health and environmental fields will find more favorable prospects as well.

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