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Utah Job Market for New Grads Better than National Perspective

April 29, 2010 — The college job forecast from, a division of CareerBuilder, finds the overall job market for 2010 college graduates will remain highly competitive, but is showing some signs of improvement.

The total number of employers planning to hire recent college graduates in 2010, 44 percent, is relatively unchanged from 43 percent in 2009 and is down from a high of 79 percent in 2007. However, one in five employers who are hiring recent college graduates said they will hire more than they did last year. Sixteen percent also reported they will offer higher starting salaries than they did in 2009, an improvement from 11 percent in last year’s survey. The survey was conducted from February 10 to March 2, 2010, among 2,778 hiring managers and human resource professionals.

Thirty percent of employers plan to offer recent college graduates starting salaries ranging between $30,000 and $40,000. An additional 19 percent will offer between $40,000 and $50,000, and 19 percent will offer $50,000 or more. Thirty-three percent will offer less than $30,000.

While college recruiting activities across the nation are finally beginning to shows signs of improvement this spring, the Utah economy has sustained a positive hiring outlook throughout the 2009-10 year.

University of Utah Career Services continues to have consistent job postings and interviewing activity throughout the year, with over 1,500 campus interviews conducted in 2009-10, and over 400 professional job postings currently listed for new graduates,” said Stan Inman, director of Career Services at the university.

At Career Service’s annual cap and gown survey in April, 48 percent of respondents reported they would begin searching for jobs following graduation. Another 23 percent said they would continue to work in a current job while continuing to search.

“Although many graduates won’t begin their job search in earnest until after graduation, they may not realize that many employers have immediate openings,” Inman added.

The watchword for employers hiring new graduates in 2010 is “flexibility.” Employers remain focused internally on increased efficiencies and productivity, but understand the value of new talent acquisition.

“New graduates can often meet the need employers have for individuals adept at sliding into a variety of new roles and adapting quickly to changing conditions,” said Inman. “They are hiring across all disciplines and looking for mixture of technical aptitude and essential soft skills.”

Inman adds that many companies are focusing on new college graduates and internships rather than seeking candidates with more experience, as this represents a smaller initial investment and allows greater elasticity as the economy improves. “Job seekers will have to be persistent and be ready to communicate how the skills and knowledge they have developed will translate into the workplace and add value,” he said.

For more information on career trends and opportunities for college graduates, visit the University of Utah’s Career Library, 350 Student Services Building, open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., call 801-581-6186 or visit