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Outlook for 2012 College Grads Looks Bright

It’s no surprise that young adults have had it hard these past couple of years. It’s been exceedingly difficult for them to find adequate jobs and the pay they are met with is usually below-average. Even though they are the group that has been struggling the most through the recession and its recovery, they still remain optimistic in regards to their careers and future income earnings. A new survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers shows that the optimism they have maintained is going to pay off this year in 2012.

According to the survey, the average starting salary for 2012 graduates is $44,442. This is a 6.6 percent increase from the average salary that 2011 graduates were met with. On top of that, the amount of jobs available to these graduates is up 10 percent from 2011. These improving statistics prove the theory that many experts predicted a couple years back: that the young adults that graduated during the peak of the recession will likely be affected by the weak job market for the rest of their careers. That’s because when they graduated they weren’t able to find the kinds of jobs they needed and were looking for. Entry-level positions were largely transitioned into unpaid internships and even then, job availability was at an all-time low. Now that the job market is picking back up, those young adults from the recession must compete with new graduates just entering into the market. The availability of jobs increases, but the competition for those jobs does as well. Experts believe that this gap in employment that recession graduates faced will continue to haunt them throughout their entire career.

So much for optimism, right? Perhaps, as a 2010 graduate, I’m a bit bitter. However, the focus of this post is on the improving factors for young adults, not how the recession has brought past graduates down. It looks as though things are improving greatly for the graduates of 2012 and it is likely they will have an easier time finding a job. In fact, those that are graduating with a degree in education this year are looking at the biggest percentage in pay change across all disciplines. Specifically, 2012 graduates with an education degree should expect a median salary of about $37,423. This is a 4.5 percent increase from the $35,828 average 2011 education graduates were met with.

The discipline with the biggest loss was surprisingly health sciences. Compared to last year’s $43,802 average, 2012 graduates will see a decrease with an average salary of $43,477. For being the biggest loss in pay, a couple hundred dollars really isn’t too bad. On top of seeing increased wages overall, 2012 graduates will see an increase in available jobs. Specifically, the survey showed that job openings increased by 10 percent compared to last year. All in all, it looks as though things are starting to look up for the young adults that are currently in the job market and those that are just starting to branch out into it. With increased costs of college and many young adults beginning to think that college is a waste of money, these statistics could not have come at a better time.

Are you a college graduate or a soon-to-be college graduate? Have you gone out into the market already in search of a job? What do you think about this survey and its findings?

SOURCE: Business Insider
IMAGE: Courtesy of Investor Centric

Nicole Nicholson

Nicole is the Content Editor for Spark Hire and mainly writes for and edits the work for the Spark News blog. She graduated in 2010 with a BA in Journalism from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. She has a passion for writing, editing, and pretty much anything to do with content. In her free time she frequents the Chicago music scene and writes reviews on shows for her own personal blog. Connect with Nicole and Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter