College graduates with business or technology degrees should have a leg up on the competition when searching for work this year, new research finds.
Majors related to business and technology account for five of this year's most sought-after degrees by employers, according to a CareerBuilder study.
Here are this year's 14 most in-demand degrees:
- Business – 35 percent
- Computer and information sciences – 23 percent
- Engineering – 18 percent
- Math and statistics – 15 percent
- Health professions and related clinical sciences – 14 percent
- Communications technologies – 11 percent
- Engineering technologies – 11 percent
- Communication and journalism – 8 percent
- Liberal arts and sciences, general studies and humanities – 7 percent
- Science technologies – 7 percent
- Social sciences – 6 percent
- Biological and biomedical sciences – 6 percent
- Architecture and planning – 6 percent
- Education – 5 percent
Employers plan to hire the most new grads this year for information technology, customer service, finance/accounting, business development and sales positions, the study found.
Overall, this year's college graduates should have a slightly easier time finding work than grads in years past. The research revealed that 67 percent of employers plan to hire recent college graduates this year — up from 65 percent last year and the best outlook for recent grads since 2007. [See Related Story: Transitioning from College to the Working World: 7 Survival Tips]
"In addition to an improving economy, we are beginning to see a rising number of retirements, which is creating more room for advancement and creating opportunities for entry-level candidates," Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder, said in a statement.
To help soon-to-be college grads, CareerBuilder recommended several resources for a successful first-time job search:
- Career services offices: Take advantage of what your school has to offer. Career services offices typically offer valuable research materials, advice on job training and connections to local companies.
- Talent networks: Joining different company talent networks is a way to stay informed of new job openings.
- Social media: Follow and engage with various employers on social media. At the same time, be sure your own social media presence is squeaky clean.
- Professional associations: Join local chapters of professional associations dedicated to the occupations and areas in your field. These associations offer great networking opportunities and often feature exclusive job posting boards or a directory of member companies you can access.
- Alumni: Join your alma mater's local alumni association to learn about, and possibly meet, hiring managers at companies that interest you.
- Job boards: Monitor various job boards, as they often feature opportunities for all experience levels, including new grads. Try making a list of the locations where you'd like to work and the companies you want to work for, and then expand your search to include other related job titles in those companies and locations.
- Job-hunting events: Career fairs offer great opportunities to network with new contacts, practice your elevator speech and gain confidence in speaking with recruiters.
The study was based on surveys of 2,186 hiring managers and human resources professionals in the private sector across a variety of industries and company sizes.