Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

College Grad Hiring Up 4% for 2003

Annual employers survey results released today

Annual Top Entry Level Employers Survey Results Released Today

Good news and bad news for upcoming college grads. The good news? Planned entry level hiring is up slightly for 2003. The bad news? The hiring results are only marginally better than 2002, which was the worst year for entry level hiring in 20 years. has released the results of their annual Top Entry Level Employers survey, which shows overall entry level hiring up 4% for 2003. Most major employers expressed continued caution over the current state of the economy. However, there are also bright spots for entry level hiring revealed in the survey results.

The results profile future hiring plans for more than 500 entry level employers representing more than 100,000 entry level positions. While most of the largest employers (over 10,000 employees) are hiring the same or fewer college grads, many of the medium employers (1,000-10,000 employees) and small employers (under 1,000 employees)
are showing increases for 2003, which accounts for the overall net increase in entry level hiring. Brian Krueger, President of noted: It is often the small to medium companies that spur initial hiring demand coming out of a recession, so this is a very good sign of future growth.

John Petrik, Dean of Career Services at DeVry University also noted the trend: We are finding that more entry level job opportunities are currently with small and midsize companies and businesses. Nancy Nish, Director of the Career Center at University of Nebraska-Omaha
agreed: This report bears out what students often don''t realize about the employment marketplace. Too many students focus on the ''name brand'' employers in their job search while great employment opportunities can be found in the smaller to mid-size employers whose names students do not readily recognize.

Others also noted that entry level hiring is making a comeback. While our on-campus activities are down from two years ago, remaining at the pessimistic levels of last year, we are very excited that our off-campus recruiting has been very well received in New York, Boston,
and DC, stated Burt Nadler, Career Center Director at University of Rochester.

Krueger also noted the recent increase in entry level job postings at the site. We have seen a 15% increase in entry level jobs being posted in the past two months, another sign of renewed interest in entry level hiring.

While many companies are still struggling in the current economy, those companies that are in a growth mode are using entry level hiring to fuel their growth. We continue to search the country for future leaders to drive the record breaking sales we have experienced this
year, stated Gregory Pond, National Recruiter for 84 Lumber Company.

As other companies continue to lay off employees and fight off bankruptcies, we will continue to hire entry level Manager Trainees to sustain the growth we have encountered in 2002.

The industries showing the strongest hiring demand continue to be defense, healthcare and government services. Consulting services, which once showed the highest demand for entry level hiring in the late ''90s, but was down dramatically in 2000-2002, showed the largest year-to-year increase in hiring expectations at 15% growth in 2003.
That''s coming off a very slow year for consulting services, noted Krueger, but the trend is still a very positive one, since consulting growth is typically the result of projected economic growth.

The majors most in demand? Accounting, Engineering, Business and Management continue to be the highest demand majors, with Computer Science, Finance, Marketing and Biology not far behind.

Many employers are finding the current entry level job market to be a great source of new talent. Mike Shepelak, Director Human Resources at SWIFT said, We recently instituted a new college hire program and hired 6 new college graduates in 2002. These new college hires have
done so well and are so well qualified that my management team is asking for more new grads. We don''t have to twist arms to hire new grads. They want even more new grads in 2003! Chris Garrity, National Field Service Manager at DAP noted: Given the state of the current economy, we have experienced a dramatic improvement in the quality of the candidate available for entry level employment
opportunity. Candidates of today seem to be finding companies with strong track records of earnings, brand strength and a proven career path to be a more attractive alternative to the less predictable, often unproven entry level positions that were found to be so glamorous in the boom years of the late ''90s and early ''00s.

Advice for new college grads? Start early, start now. It''s never too early or too late to get started in your job search, advised Krueger. We are strongly encouraging our students to become competitive by developing their transferable skills through active participation in campus organizations, student government, volunteerism, and internship or co-op programs, stated Jack Brewer,
Director of the Career Center at San Francisco State University. Even the relevance of a student''s part-time job can be significant in today''s competitive job market.

The full listing of Top Entry Level Employers for 2003 is posted as of today at the Web site at: