Graduates entering the job market today in the U.S. can expect higher salaries although there are fewer openings in many sectors. As per the recent NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers) data, better salaries as compared to 2015 are in the offing. Across ten categories ranging from humanities to business, new graduates are poised to take home a much better salary as compared to entry level candidates a few years back. As per CNBC, there might be a decline in hiring in some sectors such as insurance or retail.

Overall, the outlook for jobs remains positive with 50 percent of employers spanning all industries looking to maintain hiring statistics while 43 percent are looking to increase hiring in the next year.

Jobs in demand

A list compiled by Careercast and Flexijobs includes the following jobs as the most in demand for 2018:

  • Application software developer
  • Information security analyst
  • Financial advisor
  • Nurse practitioner
  • Medical services manager
  • Physical therapist
  • Construction
  • Marketing manager

Among tech jobs, business analysts, data scientists, support desk technician, network admin and system administrator are some of the most in-demand jobs.

Average salaries

The Bureau of Labor reports that an annual wage of $44,564 or $857 per week was the median salary in 2017 for American workers. Average entry level salaries vary widely depending on the occupation, education and the geographic location.

The average annual salary for management related occupations is $64,220, while it is $28,028 for service occupations. Finance/Accounting entry-level jobs have a salary of $50,512 while the median salary for Applications Systems Programmer in Information Technology domains can be $60,865.

What skills do employers want?

Ernst & Young began the trend of making a comprehensive assessment before hiring a candidate that went beyond just looking at the grades or degrees. Many companies that outsource recruitment process are also now looking at a 360-degree evaluation of the candidate.

According to a Global Employability University Survey employers are not excessively focusing on degree grades or extracurricular activities during recruitment. The skills that are highly in demand include complex problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, people management skills, team coordination, emotional intelligence, negotiating skills, service orientation, and cognitive flexibility.

A NACE survey in the U.S. reveals that the top skills employers seek in fresh graduates are:

  • Communication skills
  • Ability to collaborate and coordinate with teams
  • Problem-solving and decision-making skills
  • Ability to prioritize and organize work
  • Data analysis
  • Technical expertise related to the job

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