Michigan State University’s Recruiting Trends report projects that 2015-2016 will be the third straight year of solid growth as employers seek new talent from all degree levels: associate’s, bachelor’s, MBA, master’s, doctorate, and professional. This is great news for high school and college students (and their parents) who are concerned about the job market and weighing the benefits of a college education.
Hiring of college grads is expected to jump anywhere between 4% (for PhD-holders) to 23% (professional and associate’s degree-holders). See the graph from Bloomberg featuring data from MSU:
Three main causes are driving the employment growth: 1) Companies continue to grow since the recession, creating new jobs. 2) Increased turnover (workers leaving one business for another) is opening up more positions for new workers. 3) Retirement is picking up speed as the Baby Boomers retire at an estimated 10,000 a day.
Especially strong are the hiring trends among small businesses. Companies with fewer than 100 employees are expected to grow by nearly 40%, and those with 101-1,500 employees are projected to increase by 35%.
Who’s hiring? MSU organized all US occupations into eight categories and calculated the hiring activity for each. Increased hiring is expected in all but one—manufacturing. (See a full slideshow on Forbes.com.)
- Professional, Business, and Scientific Services: up 38%. (This category includes accounting and consulting firms, engineering services, computer design services, software development, civil engineering and science providers, and law firms.)
- Finance and Insurance: up 28%
- Information Services: up 24%
- Health Care & Social Assistance: up 24%
- Government: up 9%
- Education: up 8%
- Non-profits: up 5%
- Manufacturing: down 6%
Of course, the future is never set in stone, but MSU predicts that “even if the economic headwinds strengthen, the college job market should withstand a bump in the road.”
The application for students? Study hard and be strategic in your choice of degree, knowing that the piece of paper at the end of your academic journey could be worth more in 2016 than it has in years past.