FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Friday, May 19, 2006

Class of '06 is Lukewarm About the Hot Job Market

A reasonably strong economy combined with the first rumblings of Baby Boomer retirements is fueling the hottest job market for graduating college students in years.  According to one survey, 60% of employers surveyed said they plan to hire more college grads than last year.  The market is reportedly so hot that even liberal arts majors are in demand!  (Seriously, employers are realizing the benefit of hiring employees with diverse backgrounds)

But as we've noted before, today's young people have a healthy dose of cynicism when considering corporate careers.  Not only have today's kids seen their elders burned by downsizing and witnessed the Enron debacle, but thanks to the Internet, they have more information at their fingertips than any generation before:

[Graduating students] plot their careers like chess masters. They ask pointed questions about company ethics and finances. Parents are more involved too, quizzing recruiters and in rare cases, even sitting in on job interviews.

"Kids today are wired. They can find out almost anything in seconds about a company and the questions recruiters ask," said Mark Mehler, co-founder of CareerXroads, a New Jersey consulting firm. "If the picture you paint is not reality, this generation will quit on a dime."

Recruiter W. Stanton Smith took note of such brashness a few years ago, when promising young hires quit. "People weren't just saluting and taking orders anymore," he recalled.

In response, businesses in typically stodgy fields such as accounting are highlighting their employee-friendly corporate cultures and their positions on socially conscious issues.

The involvement of parents is another factor that sets today's youth apart from their predecessors.  With today's narrowing generation gap, kids and their parents are closer, and kids want their parents to take an active role in their life decisions.  Whereas I would have died if my parents had sat in on any of my job interviews... that is, if the interviewer didn't laugh me out of the room first.

Source:  Ypulse, LA Times

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