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The Office of Student Placement yesterday said it concurs with a survey indicating that college graduates face a sharp decline in job prospects with large corporations.
Donald S. Bradshaw '44, assistant director at the Placement Office, said the Northwestern University report has been issued annually for several years and is considered a reliable survey. He added that the conclusions of the survey came as no surprise to the Harvard office.
25 Percent Down
Northwestern's report, compiled by Frank S. Endicott, director of the Bureau of Placement at the college, announced a decrease of about 25 percent in personnel requirements for 1950 graduates.
169 prominent companies that regularly absorb a part of the country's graduating crop were contacted in compiling the report.
In 1950 these large industrial concerns plan to hire only 6,270 college men and women as against 8,321 in 1949. Exactly 5,621 of the graduates that the corporations can place will be males. Last year the same companies hired 7,352 men.
Cutbacks in employment will be greatest in personnel work, where the firms expect to hire 55 percent less than last year. There will be a 42 percent reduction in electrical engineering, 35 percent in sales and chemistry, 28 percent in mechanical engineering, and 25 percent in accounting and chemical engineering. Business training programs plan to reduce only 16 percent.
Bradshaw warned that these statistics should not discourage students interested in the above fields from carefully investigating job possibilities in them. Conscientious and early efforts to break into even the tightest job areas are likely to bear fruit, he said.
The best job opportunities for 1950, according to the Northwestern report, will be in insurance and merchandising.
Endicott explained that the drop in employment possibilities was a natural and expected result of the near completion of post-war expansion in most large companies.
Most positions created by the opening of new plants have already been filled by returning veterans, and future hiring will be largely on a replacement basis. "Apparently the peak of employment of in-experienced college graduates by business and industry was reached in late 1948 or early 1949," Endicott said.
He added that far fewer companies intend to visit the placement offices of colleges and universities throughout the country.
An optimistic side of the employment picture was seen by the Northwestern University official in the expected increase in recruiting of college graduates by smaller businesses.
In addition, Endicott noted that average beginning salaries for men were expected to be about the same as this year, $245 per month. Beginning engineers will get $260; sales personnel, $240; accountants $238; general business trainees, $234, and those in other fields, about $252.
To solve the growing problem of how to employ the record number of graduates now coming from the country's educational institutions, the companies reported they would survey employment policies and seek to develop closer co-operation with the colleges and universities.
Endicott said the prospective drop in job opportunities need not be alarming if remembered in the light of rapid expansion programs in the last few years.
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