Things are looking up for recent college grads making their way in the world, according to a new survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, which reports improving job prospects for members of the Class of 2012 – news that may also help ease the growing concerns of their parents and grandparents.
Both the number of job openings and the starting salaries for these jobs are expected to be higher for recent college grads, according to the results of the association’s 2012 Spring Salary Report. The median starting salary for members of the college Class of 2012 is up 4.5 percent from the average salary reported for the Class of 2011, according to the report, which shows that the median salary rose from $40,735 in 2011 to $42.569 in 2012.
A larger share of the Class of 2012 can also expect to get job offers, according to NACE’s Job Outlook 2012 Spring Update Survey of 160 employers who hire new college grads. Employers expect to hire 10.2 percent more members of the college Class of 2012 than they did members of the Class of 2011. This marks the second consecutive year employers have increased their hiring expectations for college grads.
“This upward movement along with other positive economic indicators show that the job market for new college graduates is improving steadily,” says Marilyn Mackes, the association’s executive director. The positive momentum is welcome relief for members of the Class of 2012, but the improving prospects may also reassure the parents and grandparents of recent college grads.
Worries about the financial wellbeing of children and grandchildren are on the rise among members of the baby boomer and older generations, even those from the wealthiest households. A new Millionaire Corner study shows that the “financial situation of my children or grandchildren” tops the list of personal financial concerns held by high net worth investors, individuals with investable assets of $5 million to $25 million. Two-thirds of these affluent investors say they are worried about future generations, according to an attitudinal study conducted in the first quarter of 2011. Last year, 57 percent of high net worth investors expressed this worry.
Less affluent investors – those with $100,000 to $1 million to invest – are most concerned with maintaining their own financial situation, but the financial wellbeing of their children and grandchildren, along with saving for retirement, are their second most pressing concerns.
College grads in engineering and computer science can expect the highest starting salaries, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers survey. The median starting salary for college grads with an engineering degree is $58,581 for members of the Class of 2012, while college grads in the field of computer science can expect a median starting salary of $56,383.