Finals may be over, but now comes the real test for Connecticut’s recent college graduates. Thousands of students are now trying to use that newly-acquired degree to launch their careers.
According to a LinkedIn study, overall hiring was down 29% this April compared to last April. However, LinkedIn also says that employers plan to hire more recent college graduates this year compared to last. For those recently getting their college degree, that could be even more reason to celebrate.
“Employers are hiring,” said LinkedIn Editor-in-Chief Dan Roth, while appearing on the Today Show Monday morning. “They’re saying they intend to hire 15% more college grads this year than they did last year.”
According to LinkedIn, there are several sectors attracting recent graduates, including professional services, healthcare and manufacturing. Roth said that Hartford joins Seattle and Houston among the country’s top three cities hiring, propelled by the manufacturing sector. No surprise to the Connecticut Business and Industry Association (CBIA).
‘We’ve had about 100,000 job openings in Connecticut for two years now,” said CBIA President and CEO Chris DiPentima. “Manufacturing has been one of those sectors that has been trying to hire about 5,000 or 6,000 people.”
DiPentima said the openings are being created by what he calls the “Silver Tsunami,” a massive wave of retirement-age people leaving the workforce.
“As those people retire now, combined with 100,000 job openings, there’s a huge demand to fill those jobs,” DiPentima said.
Linkedin says companies like Pratt & Whitney and Electric Boat are among those driving the hiring needs. But it’s not just mega-manufacturers who are vying recent graduates’ attention – Connecticut Spring and Stamping of Farmington says there’s intense competition for talent.
“There are more positions open than there are people to fill them. So, certainly the competition is there,” said Steve Dicke, Connecticut Spring and Stamping president.
The likely landing spot for college grads in manufacturing is in an engineering capacity.
But it’s not just ‘college’ grads that are needed. Connecticut Spring and Stamping says there are many opportunities for graduates from the state’s technical high schools, too.
Of course, the state’s college grads are looking for positions in many industries. Jacob Rich just graduated from Bryant University and has already landed a job. Rich studied management and will now begin a career as a supply chain allocation analyst for BJ’s Wholesale stores in Massachusetts.
“I applied to three jobs, and I was lucky enough to get three job offers,” said Rich. “I wanted to use more of my intellectual property and work higher up in a headquarters type of situation, so that’s why I chose BJ’s.”
While some college grads are experiencing an easy transition to the workforce, others face challenges. Quinnipiac graduate Dan Passapera wants to be a photojournalist. But despite beginning his search two months ago, he has not gotten a job offer.
He says it will be a huge weight off his shoulders when he does.
“It’s just been me scavenging through LinkedIn, emails and having friends send me job descriptions,” said Passapera.
Worry not, though, says the CBIA.
“We need to be able to hire people out of college, not only to backfill the number of people that are retiring, but also for our businesses to be able to grow,” said DiPentima.