Graduation day is still some months away. For college seniors though, the intervening months can be quite hectic. On the one hand, they would need to focus on their preparations for the final examinations. On the other, they would find it hard not to realize that they’re standing on the threshold of launching their professional careers.
College seniors would spend a fair amount of their time in searching for jobs, preparing for interviews and evaluating the offers they receive. In addition, there would be some misgivings about leaving the comfortable college environs and heading into uncharted territory. Given this backdrop, it’s easy to understand that graduates will be focusing on the job market in the months leading up to graduation day.
A recent study conducted by CareerBuilder and CareerRookie.com revealed that:
- In 2014, about 57 percent of employers had mentioned that they planned to hire new college graduates
- The corresponding figures for 2013 and 2010 were 53 percent and 44 percent respectively
- Around 61 percent of employers mentioned that they would offer new graduates the same starting salaries as they did in the previous year, while 30 percent of employers said that they expected their initial offers to increase
- The breakdown for expected starting salaries offered to recent graduates is as follows:
- Under $30,000: 26 percent
- $30,000 to less than $40,000: 30 percent
- $40,000 to less than $50,000: 20 percent
- $50,000 and above: 24 percent
The increasing numbers of employers willing to hire new college graduates might bring a smile to the faces of many graduates. They would be hoping that the trend continues its upward climb.
The study also highlights that the demand for business and technical majors continues to remain high, as has been the case in previous years too. In 2014, the most sought-after majors comprised:
- Business: 39 percent
- Computer and Information Sciences: 28 percent
- Engineering: 18 percent
- Math & Statistics and Health Professions & Related Clinical Sciences: 14 percent each
- Communications Technologies: 12 percent
- Engineering Technologies: 11 percent
Knowing where to start your job search is the first step toward launching your professional career. However, knowing the companies that are more receptive to recent college graduates is worthwhile too. Given below are some of the leading companies that offered best-fit employment opportunities for recent college graduates in 2014. Culled from a survey conducted by Experience, a ConnectEDU company, these companies offer a team-oriented company culture, great opportunities for career growth and benefits aimed at promoting work-life balance.
The Top Employers for New Graduates
Industry: Business Consulting
Size: 305,000 (as of December 2014)
Revenue: $30 billion (as of 2014)
The organization’s dynamic and supportive environment helps graduates develop professionally, by working with talented colleagues from diverse backgrounds. Accenture believes in creating a more socially and environmentally sustainable world. It offers programs aimed at helping employees achieve success both inside and outside the office. This enables employees to lead fuller lives beyond the scope of their professional work.
Industry: Education (Academia)
Size: 800 – 1,000 (as of November 2014)
Working at Acelero is not just about having a job or a paycheck. It’s about being passionate about making a big difference in the lives of needy children and families. The organization typically promotes employees from within and helps them reach the zenith of their professional potential. In the Head Start world, Acelero’s program has earned a reputation of having high standards, in addition to producing quality outcomes for the population they serve.
Size: 243,360 (as of December 2014)
Revenue: $131.17 billion (as of 2014)
The organization strives to be an exceptional place to work by going above and beyond the basics. It empowers employees by giving them access to the appropriate tools and resources needed for achieving professional success. It offers various training and development programs for maximizing the potential of its employees. These programs typically include instructor-led classes, self-paced e-learning courses and web conferences.
Industry: Banking and Finance
Size: 14,500 (as of July 2014)
Revenue: $93.1 billion (as of 2014)
The BMO Harris Bank offers a supportive company culture through its long-standing programs. The strength of its Canadian parent i.e. the BMO Financial Group enables it to surpass its competitors in terms of its financial soundness. Unlike other banks that struggled during the recent global financial crises, the BMO Harris Bank focused on expanding and emerging as a stronger organization.
Industry: Retail and Merchandizing
Size: 25,800 (as of December 2014)
Revenue: $2.79 billion (as of 2014)
The retail store allows new hires to become more involved in several aspects of the business to win recognitions and promotions. As a result, they offer the fastest growth within retail, along with flexible career paths. Typically, most fresh hires move up to the managerial level within three to five years. Unlike other national retailers that ordain fixed career paths, the Bon-Ton Stores enable you to work in buying, planning and other areas after your initial training is over.
Industry: Energy (Utilities)
Size: 25,829 (as of December 2014)
Revenue: $26.34 billion (as of 2014)
Exelon challenges its employees to constantly adapt, enhance and advance in its pursuit for excellence. It makes its employees focus on ways to maximize the potential of energy to give customers greater choice and value. In addition, employees get to drive innovations that boost the effective functioning of businesses, while helping people lead better lives. It fosters a culture that focuses on performance, promotes thought leadership, encourages innovation and acknowledges the power of ideas brought forth by a diverse workforce.
Size: 50,000 (as of December 2013)
Revenue: $38.5 billion (as of 2014)
This organization is ideal for people concerned about the safety and welfare of others. It offers a working environment with a team of like-minded colleagues, who provide assistance in building a career stepped in responsibility. As the third largest property and casualty insurance company in the US, Liberty Mutual offers a wide range of rewarding career paths to smart and responsible recent graduates.
Size: 101,795 (as of December 2014)
Revenue: $28.13 billion (as of 2014)
The organization believes that the graduates of today expect more from their careers than just a paycheck. Therefore, it offers graduates with the opportunity of doing more than just a vertical climb up the hierarchical ladder. It offers new graduates the chance to build a personally meaningful career to earn rewards for achievements that matter to them personally. At the outset, Philips encourages new graduates to take the passions, experiences and interests that motivate them in their daily lives and to apply them to create better work in the professional lives. Not many Fortune 500 companies can boast of allowing their employees the chance to be – first and foremost – real people at work.
Industry: Retail and Merchandizing
Size: 249,000 (as of December 2014)
Revenue: $33.69 billion (as of 2014)
At Sears Holdings Corporation, recent college graduates get the opportunity to work on meaningful projects that will make an immediate impact on the businesses they are supporting. The organization is currently in a state of transformation, which enables new college graduates to do deep dives and thereby, make a big impact with their work. This would enable them to gain vital exposure and confidence, as they go about giving their professional lives a sound start.
Size: 178,500 (as of December 2014)
Revenue: $124.95 billion (as of 2014)
Verizon offers an assortment of flexible work arrangements to its employees, thereby helping them achieve a good work-life balance. They also offer a strong portfolio of total rewards for enhancing the personal and professional lives of its employees. In addition to competitive salaries, a top-of-the-line 401 (k) savings plan, tuition assistance, affordable health benefits, maternity and adoption leaves and wellness programs, Verizon also offers its employees access to fitness centers, award-winning training and development programs and a robust employee discount program. These benefits and workplace policies make Verizon a nice place to work in.
For more information on the best employers for recent college graduates, you could click here. Alternatively, you might be interested in checking out this list from CollegeGrad.com. In case you’re a high school graduate looking for good companies to join, you might want to check out this list by Jane Wells.
Many new graduates have a preferential list of organizations that they aspire to work for. However, not everyone is fortunate enough to get the jobs they want. In this scenario, finding an organization that gives you the opportunity to give your career a solid foundation is worth its weight in gold.