College commencement season in Georgia gets into full swing this weekend with thousands of students receiving diplomas and setting off on their next endeavors.
For most of these graduates, the workforce is the next stop. Fortunately, the economic outlook for graduates this year is relatively bright.
Nationally, employers plan to hire 5.2 percent more new college graduates in 2016 than they did the previous year, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers.
It is notable that that NACE’s job projections were trimmed from the 11 percent hiring forecast initially reported in November. Much of the change can be attributed to a larger portion of employers reporting plans to trim hiring. Still, there is hope.
“This is the best time in 10 years to be graduating from college and hitting the job market,” said Jeffrey Dorfman, a professor of agricultural and applied economics at the University of Georgia, in reporting on job numbers for students at the state’s flagship institution. “Employers plan to hire more college grads this year than last, and the job market is generally pretty strong.
While employers are looking to hire, Georgia is looking to produce a better workforce able to meet employers’ demands.
The state is in the midst of an initiative, Complete College Georgia, to increase the number of people with college degrees or credentials by 250,000 by the year 2025. In five years, 60 percent of jobs in the state will require post-secondary education, either a degree or certificate. But only 38 percent of Georgia high school sophomores get that far, according to a recent Atlanta Regional Commission study.
Graduates this spring are helping Georgia meet those goals.
»» Interactive graphic: Which jobs for college graduates are in demand