Monday, July 14, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Good news for college grads in 2014

Congratulations to the college graduates of 2014.

You had the good sense to be born a few years later than your older siblings, who earned degrees in such a sour job market that they’ve been caricatured as under-employed mopes living in their parents’ basements.

According to the recent Michigan State University [MSU] “Recruiting Trends” report, hiring of college grads is expected to grow by two percent this year.

In some sectors – like manufacturing, non-profits and education – hiring is projected to be robust, with gains of 23 percent, 11 percent and nine percent, respectively.

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  • Moreover, Phil Gardner, director of MSU’s Collegiate Employment Research Institute predicts: “The market has progressed steadily during the past four years, and a more robust market may be just around the corner.”

    But does stepping right into a great job mean that 2014 grads will enjoy more prosperous careers than those basement dwellers?

    Well, they may be more prosperous, but they might not be as satisfied with their achievements over the course of their career than their older peers, finds new research from Emory University.

    Studying job satisfaction of graduates between 1975 and 2011, Bianchi finds that those entering a robust workforce develop an “upward counterfactual” mindset, meaning that they focus on their peers landing in even better positions, and throughout their careers they think they should be attaining more.

    By contrast, recession-year grads tend to be grateful and satisfied with their jobs. Bianchi notes other research from the Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University also finds recent recession graduates might be more satisfied with their jobs than many people might expect.

    Furthermore, there’s no research evidence that finds that such gratitude reduces ambition, she adds.

    But 2014 grads may be in a sweet spot: Since they’re “likely to be fairly grateful given what they have seen their older friends and siblings go through,” Bianchi concludes.

    © CTW Features

    Marilyn Kennedy Melia CTW Features