Despite predictions of an upcoming recession, 1980 college graduates will have a slightly better chance of finding jobs than did the members of the Class of '79, two studies released last week show.
A study by the Michigan State University (MSU) Placement Services predicts a 1- to 2-pre-cent rise in the total number of college graduates hired this year and starting salary increases of up to 8 per cent.
Robert J. Ginn Jr., director of the Office of Career Services and Off-Campus Learning (OCS-OCL), said yesterday he has "already seen a better job market" this year, reflected by an increase over last year in the number of companies that recruited January graduates this fall. Ginn said he expects the number of companies that recruit at Harvard this spring to exceed the number for last spring.
Put on a Tie
Ginn added that a five-year trend of increased company recruiting here reflects the healthy job market for Harvard graduates. Forty-six companies conducted 792 interviews at Harvard in 1974-75, while 111 companies held 1718 interviews last year, he said.
Laurie Stauffer, an OCS-OCL counselor, said yesterday that the rise does not reflect an increased effort to attract recruiters. She said OCS-OCL invites the same number of companies every year, but during the past few years more have decided to come.
Stauffer added that so far this year there has been no increase in recruiting activity, but she acknowledged the possibility of increased recruiting next spring.
Jack Shingleton, director of placement services at MSU, said yesterday the greater demand for college graduates results from increased hiring activity in the energy, electronics, and aerospace industries.
Shingleton added that during the 1974-75 recession industries "cut back on recruiting and hiring," which later resulted in a shortage of middle management personnel. Many companies hope to prevent another such shortage by hiring at last year's levels, despite pessimistic economic predictions, he said.
The MSU study and a similar study conducted by the College Placement Council in Bethlehem, Pa, showed that the greatest demand exists for graduates with degrees in engineering, the natural sciences, mathematics, and other technical areas.
But holders of liberal arts degrees will have greater difficulty finding jobs than last year, the studies showed. However, Shingleton said "chances are good" that Harvard graduates with liberal arts degrees will find jobs next year. Any Harvard student "who works at it should be able to find a job," he added.