Class of 2022 credits career services for helping them land jobs
College seniors entering the workforce are stressed but facing opportunities like few other graduating classes in recent history. With a wide-open pipeline of 11.3 million jobs available and employers eager to hire them, their futures are not as uncertain as those of previous generations—despite a lingering pandemic, an unsettled economy and a war raging in Ukraine.
More than 60% of 1,000 students surveyed who will cross the stage in commencement ceremonies already have gotten job offers, according to healthcare provider TimelyMD. And they are asking for a lot more, according to researchers—including hybrid work plans, flexible hours and support and resources for their wellbeing. Those who haven’t found work yet are brimming with confidence. Only 10% feel unprepared to enter the labor market.
That’s because they say they have been empowered by campus career development offices. Of all the takeaways from Timely’s survey, that is perhaps the most heartening for institutions of higher education, which have been putting a heavy emphasis on helping bridge gaps to meet employers’ demands.
“It’s terrific news to hear that the majority of college students used their school’s career development office, resources or programs during this transitional post-COVID year that required a mix of in-person, online and hybrid experiences for employers and students to connect in new ways,” said Andy Chan, vice president for innovation and career development at Wake Forest University.
More than half said those services directly helped them find their jobs, with 50% assisting them with résumés or cover letters. Around 30% said they were given connecting through networking to employers and around a third helped them boost their interview skills or gave them guidance to figure out career options.
Aside from flexibility, college seniors say their No. 1 concern about seeking out jobs is salary, as well as medical benefits (46%) and vacation time (40%). The majority would like a fully in-person environment, though another 40% would prefer at least some hybrid work.
More than 90% want to see a continuation of the mental health services that their colleges have provided throughout the pandemic. A third of them say they are just important as a company offering a 401K.
“Amidst their struggles, the Class of 2022 has shown resilience, adaptability and persistence in the face of unrelenting uncertainty—qualities that will serve them, and their employers, well in the long run,” said Seli Fakorzi, director of mental health at TimelyMD. “Openly talking about mental health and providing resources are easy ways employers can show early-career employees that they care more about people than productivity.”