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Top 10 degrees in demand
A new survey indicates a brighter job outlook for new college grads compared with last year.
November 14, 2004: 12:00 PM EST

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - A majority of employers expect the job market for the class of 2005 to be more robust than last year, with more positions to fill and higher starting salaries.

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Graduates with a bachelor's in business, engineering and computer-related fields will be in highest demand.

Those are some of the key findings of the Job Outlook 2005 survey, conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, released Friday.

"We're seeing a number of positive indications that the job market for new college graduates is improving," said Marilyn Mackes, NACE's executive director, in a statement. "For example, more than 80 percent of responding employers rated the job market for new college graduates as good, very good, or excellent. In comparison, last year at this time just over 38 percent gave the job market those ratings."

The survey found that seven out of 10 respondents expect to increase starting salary offers by an average of 3.7 percent. Employers also said they would reassess their hiring needs more frequently. The largest group (33.3 percent) said they would do so quarterly. In last year's survey, the largest group (27.4 percent) said they would only do so annually.

When asked which new college grads they were likely to hire, the greatest number of employers said they were interested in hiring grads who majored in accounting, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, business administration and economics/finance.

Rounding out the top 10 list were students who majored in computer science, computer engineering, marketing or marketing management, chemical engineering, and information sciences and systems.

Of the 254 employers who took NACE's survey, 45.7 percent were service-sector employers, 40.5 percent were manufacturers, and nearly 13.8 percent were government or nonprofit employers. Regionally, 35.8 percent are from the Midwest; 30.7 percent are based in the South; 21.3 percent are in the Northeast; and 12.2 percent hail from the West.

In an earlier NACE survey this fall, nearly 61 percent of employers said they planned to hire more college grads from the class of 2004-05 than they did from the previous year's class. On balance, NACE expects to see an increase in hiring of 13 percent.  Top of page

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