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  • Employer Demand for Graduates by Degree Level

    March 08, 2017 | By NACE Staff

    Trends & Predictions
    A recent college graduate is being interviewed by a recruiter.

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    Demand for graduates at all degree levels has remained remarkably consistent from last year, according to results of NACE’s Job Outlook 2017 survey.

    Like last year, nearly all of this year’s survey respondents indicate that they will hire college graduates earning bachelor’s degrees in 2017. (See Figure 1.)

    The percentages of respondents hiring the other degree levels—associate, master’s, doctorate, and professional degrees—remain in step with last year’s results. In addition, the percentage of total hires and the degrees they possess are virtually identical to last year’s results.

    Demand—both overall and within the associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degree levels—continues to come from the business, engineering, and computer science fields. (See Figures 2 through 4.)

    At the doctorate level, math and sciences graduates also garner high interest. (See Figure 5.)

    Data for the Job Outlook 2017 survey were collected from August 5, 2016, through October 4, 2016. A total of 169 surveys were returned—a 17 percent response rate. The Job Outlook 2017 report is available to members through MyNACE.

    Figure 1: Hiring expectations, by degree level

    Degree Level Average % of New College Hires in 2016-17 % of Total Respondents Hiring in 2016-17 Average % of New College Hires in 2015-16 % of Total Respondents Hiring in 2015-16
    Associate 1.9% 12.3% 1.7% 13.4%
    Bachelor’s 83.2% 98.2% 83.9% 98.3%
    Master’s 12.7% 75.4% 12.2% 75.6%
    Doctorate 1.2% 18.4% 1.2% 18.5%
    Professional 1.2% 8.8% 1.0% 8.4%
    Source: Job Outlook 2017, National Association of Colleges and Employers

    Figure 2: Top degrees in demand, associate degree broad categories

    Broad Category % of Total Respondents (N=144)
    Computer & Information Sciences 4.2%
    Business 2.1%
    Engineering 1.4%
    Communications 0.7%
    Healthcare 0.7%
    Source: Job Outlook 2017, National Association of Colleges and Employers

    Figure 3: Top degrees in demand, bachelor’s degree broad categories

    Broad Category % of Total Respondents (N=144)
    Business 77.8%
    Engineering 70.1%
    Computer & Information Sciences 54.2%
    Math & Sciences 27.1%
    Social Sciences 23.6%
    Source: Job Outlook 2017, National Association of Colleges and Employers

    Figure 4: Top degrees in demand, master’s degree broad categories

    Broad Category % of Total Respondents (N=144)
    Business 45.1%
    Engineering 32.6%
    Computer & Information Sciences 25.0%
    Math & Sciences 14.6%
    Social Sciences 7.6%
    Source: Job Outlook 2017, National Association of Colleges and Employers

    Figure 5: Top degrees in demand, doctorate degree broad categories

    Broad Category % of Total Respondents (N=144)
    Engineering 9.0%
    Math & Sciences 6.9%
    Computer & Information Sciences 3.5%
    Agriculture & Natural Resources 1.4%
    Business 1.4%
    Source: Job Outlook 2017, National Association of Colleges and Employers