With college graduation season in full swing, the job outlook for the class of 2013 appears to be bright, according to career counselors.
Nearly half of the students in this year’s graduating class – 45.9 percent of the new grads – have at least one job offer, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers.
The same group found that 29.3 percent of recent graduates had a job in line prior to graduation.
Some 1,791,000 students will graduate with a bachelor’s degree this year, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) projects.
The numbers are an encouraging sign, according to Robin Lee, associate director of the career development center at Cal State University Long Beach.
"It's definitely a lot better," she said. "In 2008-2009, it was something like 15 percent may get an offer, so we almost doubled that in terms of getting an offer before graduation and tripled it after graduation."
Among the top majors with the most job offers this year are computer science, economics, accounting and engineering.
"In this case, me being offered a job shortly after graduation was rather easy," said Adam Rowe, who just graduated from Cal State Long Beach with a degree in mechanical engineering.
"I don't know if that was luck or if it was just I was in the right place at the right time."
Students with science-related degrees are also landing jobs fairly easily, Lee said.
But traditional factors – like a good GPA and a desirable degree – are no longer enough to land recent graduates a job, Lee said.
Employers are looking for applicants who have had hands-on experience and have completed at least one or two internships.
"That's the new buzz word in the career business, employability skills," Lee said. "If we can up the acumen of students and their employability then we're going to get better results in terms of the other side, in terms of the job market.”