1. The job market for new degree-holders is the best it’s been in over a decade, according to an annual collegiate recruiting report that surveyed more than 5,700 employers. What can recent graduates, or student’s nearing completion of their degree program, do to make themselves more hirable and take advantage of this expected hiring increase?
Plan, plan, plan! You can’t over plan your readiness as a new graduate. From a career planning and placement approach, students can sharpen their interview skills, build connections, make sure they have very strong references, and do their homework and research the company they’ll be interviewing with. First impressions are also still very important, dressing for success, coming in with a positive attitude, expressing confidence; everything from the handshake to the eye contact is very important. The ultimate goal is to get hired, and all of these things, in addition to your degree, will help you be prepared for the job market.
2. According to the recruiting report, employers are planning to boost their hiring of new graduates with bachelor’s degrees by 16 percent, doctorate degrees by 20 percent and MBA graduates by 38 percent. What do you feel attributes to the increased statistics on higher level degree holders?
We’re no longer in a time where a high school degree, or often times even an undergraduate degree, is enough. People are looking for highly skilled, critically thinking individuals, and you gain those skills through experience and higher education. Higher degrees help individuals move up the ladder much faster because it proves to employers that you know how to plan and that you have the discipline to make it through a degree program. High level degree programs also offer a set of refined skills, for example in an MBA program a student gains skills in marketing, finance, entrepreneurship, leadership and many other areas. This makes people flexible, and employers are really starting to see that.
3. The number of job openings in the United States has also recently reached a 13-year high, according to a report published this month by the U.S. Labor Department. What do you feel is causing this increased amount of vacancies?
For a long time, businesses were sitting on their cash because they didn’t really trust that the economy was going to turn around. What we’re starting to see now is that there’s some faith in the economy and finally businesses are starting to spend some money and starting to hire again. We’ve been getting by with less, and we’ve been getting by OK, but what I’m hearing and seeing is that it’s time to take a deep breath and, at least somewhat, begin hiring again. It’s been long enough now that people are starting to think that this is a real recovery.
4. Information services and insurance were two sectors in the U.S. Labor Department report which both projected to generate over a 30 percent increase from last year. What other fields do you think have the potential for significant job growth?
When you look at the science, technology, engineering and math, the STEM fields, we still struggle to get enough skilled people there. Students that can come out of school with STEM skills and critical thinking skills are at a real advantage. Health care, education and international business are also fields I think can expand in the coming years. Hi-tech fields such as biomedical, biotech and cyber security, are also all areas I feel we’ll make substantial progress in moving forward.
5. How are the degree programs and curriculum at Post providing real world experience for our students and preparing them to be in the best position to achieve a job upon graduation?
There are many aspects of why an education from Post prepares students for the next level, but I think the two most important aspects are our degree programs and our support services. The degree programs that we offer are sought after kinds of degrees in fields with real employee demands. The education our students receive is under scholarly practitioners, who have experience working in the field they are teaching, and that makes a big difference. Add that education aspect to all of the other things we do to support our students, from career services, to job placement, and the advising the students receive throughout their time here, and it makes for an exceptional educational experience.
Don Mroz, Ph.D., is the President and Founding Dean of the Malcolm Baldrige School of Business at Post University. Mroz holds a Ph.D. in Human & Organization Systems, an M.A. in Human & Organizational Development, an M.A. in Guidance and Counseling, and a B.S. in Industry & Technology. Mroz has extensive experience helping businesses large and small manage change and find new ways to grow and prosper with a focus on quality, innovation, and continuous improvement.