May 09, 2011
By: by Eric Anderson, Times Union, Business Editor
At the University at Albany's School of Business, at least 39 students have lined up jobs with Ernst & Young, an accounting firm.
Chipmaker GlobalFoundries, meanwhile, is hiring graduating seniors from Hudson Valley Community College, Schenectady County Community College, and both UAlbany and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
And graduates of UAlbany's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering have landed job offers at Intel, IBM, Applied Materials, Sematech and even Tesla Motors, as well as at least 17 other companies.
For many area college graduates, especially those with business, engineering and technology degrees, the job outlook has brightened considerably.
The National Association of Colleges and Employers reported college hiring is up 19 percent from last year, well above the 13.5 percent increase employers were projecting when the school year began in September.
Of seniors applying for a job, 42 percent had an offer, up from 38 percent last year, NACE reported. Those who accept jobs fell slightly, to 57.5 percent from 59 percent last year.
There's still plenty of softness in the job market, but those in certain fields -- engineering, information technology, computer science, health care -- are having little difficulty, career counselors report.
"The CNSE students are able to write their own ticket," spokesman Steve Janack said.
But accounting majors at UAlbany also are doing well, said Deirdre Sweeney, director of career services for the School of Business.
"Things are fairly strong in accounting," she said.
And 80 to 85 percent of students in its undergraduate financial analyst program have lined up jobs, Sweeney added.
At HVCC, graduates in its technology programs and health programs are finding plenty of job offers, said Gayle Healy, director of the school's Center for Careers and Employment.
Job postings at SCCC are up 6 percent, said Bob Frederick, the Schenectady school's coordinator of career and employment services.
Robert Soules, director of the Becker Career Center at Union College, said job prospects "are improving slightly. But the competition for those jobs is increasing as well," he added.
Frederick also said there's more selectivity among employers.
Last year, with a dismal job market, many students applied to graduate school instead. But the economic recovery may have encouraged more students this year to re-enter the job market.
Who's getting the highest salaries? NACE finds chemical engineering graduates getting an average starting salary offer of $66,886, followed by computer science majors at $63,017 and mechanical engineering majors at $60,739.
And while CNSE's program is small -- just 16 students are graduating in May -- their starting salaries, Janack said, compare favorably with the $81,000 average salary nanotechnology workers earn.