Recent College Graduates are entering a very strong Job Market

Low unemployment is increasing demand, and giving grads more job options

June 14, 2018 - 8:00 pm

It's a tight labor market with unemployement rates running at 3.8% nationally, and 3.3% in Minnesota.  That's great news for recent college graduates who are having no problem finding well-paying jobs.  

The Univerisity of Minnesota's Carlson School' grads, hundreds of students with BAs, MAs, MBAs, and a few PhDs, are heading out into the job market this summer, and they are heading into a strong job market. 

Last year, over 98% of their BA graduates had jobs with mean annual compensation of about $56,000 within six months.  More than 94% of the MBAs were employed in six months.  The mean annual MBA compensation package was about $100,000. 

Paul Vaaler is the Associate Professor and John and Bruce Mooty Chair in Law & Business, Strategic Management & Entrepreneurship at the Carlson School, and he tells WCCO Radio, "I expect that this year's crop of graduates should do even better."

Where are they going to work?  Marketing and consulting are two important placement destinations for Carlson School grads.  Much of that is due to the number of corporate headquarters in Minnesota.  

There are also plenty of big banks in the Twin Cities.  But finance has been losing ground placement-wise.  Consulting and high-tech (healthcare) jobs are on the rise.  Vaaler said, "That's part of a broader national trend (as this recent Wall Street Journal article notes).  Graduates have always liked the heftier pay that comes with financial services jobs, but like less and less the long hours."

According the Vaaler, "Banking can be hierarchical.  High-tech firms like Amazon are big but not so hierarchical.  They're given to more entrepreneurial types as well as more stock-based pay.  Banking firms might learn something here.  In a tight professional job market, entrepreneurial incentives matter more and more.  Tech companies are starting to overtake banks.  They've become a source of entrepreneurialship.  When you work for a bank, you're basically just a manager.  People want to be owners.  Bankers are going to need to take note, you'll have to pay more for good graduates."