Indeed Survey: Graduates Optimistic About Job Prospects

86% of graduates optimistic about finding full-time work

AUSTIN, Texas (May 19, 2016) — A whopping 86% of college graduates are at least somewhat optimistic they will find full-time work after graduating, and 92% are hopeful they will land their desired job, according to a new survey by Indeed, the world’s number one job site.

This positive outlook comes from a graduating class entering a strong job market averaging more than 200,000 job gains a month in recent years, but also struggling with low wage growth and concerns about long-term economic strength.

“The transition from school to the workforce is a major life event filled with angst and uncertainty, which is why it’s so remarkable to see the high levels of confidence toward job hunting from the Class of 2016,” said Paul D’Arcy, senior vice president at Indeed. “But these same students also identify that opportunity comes with a cost, and realize that a share of their paychecks will need to go to student loans and housing.”

Of the 2,500 graduates who participated in the survey, 50% are very optimistic about finding a full-time job, 36% are somewhat optimistic, and only 10% are pessimistic. Meanwhile, 49% are very hopeful they will land their desired job, 42% are somewhat hopeful, and 8% are not hopeful at all.

Many graduates did, however, express concern over their ability to move out of their parents’ homes and pay off student loans without help.

About 37% of graduating seniors plan to keep living at home at least a year or more after graduation. Meanwhile, 25% of graduating seniors say finding a job with student loan assistance is a top priority, and 61% of that cohort will specifically look for jobs with the benefit. That makes sense considering that 86% of those surveyed said they would be paying student loans within the first year of graduating.

Indeed data shows that less than one percent of employers note student loan assistance in job postings, potentially a missed opportunity to get noticed by graduates in the class of 2016.

“It’s true that college graduates have a leg up in a job market that favors four-year degrees, but many also have a chain attached to that leg in the form of student debt,” D’Arcy said. “The survey data shows that employers offering student loan assistance may find they’re able to attract the best talent of 2016.”

Such assistance may be particularly helpful for a graduating class interested in living in some of the largest, and most expensive U.S. cities. Indeed’s survey found that 77% of graduates are looking to live in the 20 largest cities, as led by New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

Indeed conducted the national survey from April 27 to May 9, 2016, of 2,500 seniors graduating with four-year degrees.

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