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Top 5 college degrees employers are seeking in 2012


Nationally, employers are looking for critical thinkers as they increasingly hire recent college graduates. Take a look at the top degrees in demand right now and get a feel for what your competitors are looking for.

Hiring trends for 2012

According to a new survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), business, engineering and computer science degrees are in the highest demand for employers looking to hire college graduates in 2012.

NACE reported in February a 10 percent increase in companies’ intent to hire interns this summer (mostly paid) and that employers plan to hire 9.5 percent more college graduates in 2012 than they did in 2011. Most companies plan to recruit mostly later this yer, likely during the fall semester. Additionally, the non-profit reports that starting salaries for graduates is up 3.5 percent this year.

Top five degrees this year

According to the report, below are the top five most in demand college degrees this year:

1. Business Administration
According to the Job Outlook survey, employers prefer candidates who have problem solving and leadership skills, which could potentially be acquired or honed through a business program.

Whether you want to work for a big or small business, studying business administration is a good way to prepare yourself.

2. Engineering
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the future looks bright for engineering graduates, with engineering jobs as a whole expected to climb 11 percent through 2018.

Sought after skills such as problem solving and analysis also contributes to wide range or careers.

3. Computer and Information Sciences
Computers have revolutionized the business world. Graduates tech-savvy skills are appealing to many employers, according to the Job Outlook survey.

As technology keeps advancing, employers look for workers with the latest and greatest computer skills.

4. Accounting
If you’re good with numbers and spreadsheets, you may want to consider a career in accounting.

Accounting majors have a bright 2012 outlook with 59.3 percent of surveyed employers planning to take on these graduates this year.

5. Economics
According to the Job Outlook survey, economics degree grads have the attention of some 34 percent of surveyed employers who plan to hire them in 2012.

The takeaway

If you are hiring this year, this is what your competitors are looking for. Each year, the trends shift based on the successes of various sectors, but it is intriguing to analyze the trends in down years when the economy has hit an entire nation so hard. Businesses of all sizes are looking for problem solvers, and the trend of hiring recent graduates is on the rise.



  1. AccountingDegreeTalk

    September 17, 2012 at 3:03 am

    Marti Trewe i like your reports and and news, i found that these are very informative and helpful especially for college students.

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