Good news for the Class of 2011 (other than Conan O’Brien being your commencement speaker). The job outlook is improving for graduating seniors since the 2008 financial crisis, according to U.S. News & World Report. In fact, employers are hiring 19.3 percent of more college grads compared to last year, says a quarterly report by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). The bad news? You’re graduating.
With the unemployment rate at 9.2 percent, what can attribute to employers' increasing demand for college graduates? Acting codirector of career services at Dartmouth, Monica Wilson, says that employers want “younger folks” who understand how to use social media sites. New job titles like “social media consultant” and “social media strategist” are common and “ever evolving,” says Wilson. Companies are also increasingly hiring interns for social media positions. In fact, the NACE study found that 58 percent of interns who graduated in 2010 became full-time employees.
In a study done by Michael Stelzner, founder of SocialMediaExaminer.com, 93 percent of markets use social media to market their businesses, and 92 percent of markets are using Facebook. It takes more than sending a Tweet or updating your Facebook status, however, to be knowledgeable about social media. Creative, innovative thinking for new industries is necessary, and students must understand how to use Google Analytics and other web tools. Wilson says, “You not only have to be fairly fluent in what's out there and willing to put the time in to really understand how the different vehicles work, but you [also] have to be able to evaluate and make recommendations that have a factual basis to them. You can’t call yourself an expert [just] because you’re on Twitter or Facebook.”