University graduates entering a great job market

ZipRecruiter Report Finds Red Hot Job Market for 2022 College Grads

Employers are rolling out the red carpet to grads with signing bonuses, remote work options, and vacation stipends

Today ZipRecruiter released its inaugural report, “The Class of 2022: The Job Market Outlook for Grads” revealing that newly minted college graduates are entering a sizzling job market with two job openings for every unemployed person. Employers are rolling out the red carpet to grads with perks like signing bonuses (nearly 800% growth in recent years), remote work options, help with student loan payments, and vacation stipends. 

“Young people spend a large share of their income on food, rent, and gas, so inflation is hitting them hard. But new grads are well-positioned to go after job opportunities now that can set them up for long-term success,” said Ian Siegel, ZipRecruiter Co-Founder and CEO. “Fortunately, the class of 2022 is entering a very favorable job market. If you graduate into a slow market, the negative effect on your earnings can last 10-15 years. But if you graduate into a hot job market like we’re seeing today, the benefits can last a lifetime.”

Report highlights include:

  • The Pandemic Has Lowered Barriers to Entry for Recent Grads – To combat labor shortages, employers have lowered the experience requirements for millions of roles, making new graduates eligible for jobs that were once out of reach: 9% of job postings in 2022 listing a bachelor’s degree requirement vs. 13% in 2018.
  • Workplace Benefits New Grads Love—and Where to Find Them – The two-thirds of new graduates who borrowed for college have about $28,400 in student loan debt, on average, and employers are taking note. 90k job postings now offer student loan repayment as a perk.
  • Internships: The Missing Rung on the Post-COVID Opportunity Ladder – The traditional internship model needs to change in the new world of remote and hybrid work. Currently, 1% of all internships nationwide are remote and many programs remain on hiatus, leaving key learning opportunities for developing job seekers on the table.
  • Show Me the Money: Expectations vs. Reality – Those who successfully complete a college degree can expect a wage boost, with new college grads earning 59% more than workers with only high school diplomas. College grads are also underselling themselves with the ability to command $10k more than they expect to earn.
  • What New Graduates Want in a Job – There is a clear generational divide in the workforce, with first-time hires caring substantially more about learning opportunities and diversity and inclusion efforts vs. traditional perks like retirement. Interestingly, 21% of first-time hires said they prioritized finding a low-stress job as part of their search efforts.
  • Why Younger Workers Want Remote Work – Working remotely allows young people to save on transportation costs and rent by living at home, or allows them to combine a full-time job with freelance or gig work.

“More than 6 in 10 job seekers want remote jobs, but only 1 in 10 jobs is remote. So if you’re applying for remote jobs, expect more competition and send more applications. If, on the other hand, you’re prepared to work in an office, the odds swing to you.”

The report also details the hottest job markets in the U.S. for 2022, top entry level jobs for new grads, most common industries for first-time hires, and what skills are most in demand. “Different parts of the country are best for different kinds of careers. Choose wisely. Starting a career in health care at a top-ranked hospital in Massachusetts, for example, could expose you to best practice and innovation, setting you up for lifelong career success,” added Renata Dionello, ZipRecruiter Chief People Officer.

To view the full report, including additional data insights and methodology, visit “The Class of 2022: The Job Market Outlook for Grads.”

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At ZipRecruiter, our mission is to connect employers and job seekers with their next great opportunity. On the ZipRecruiter blog, we use insider experience and data derived from our AI-driven jobs marketplace to provide advice and insights on topics such as the job search process, interviewing, and labor market trends. Start your job search or post a job today and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn!

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