Upcoming college grads to earn more money, among good news from 2015 report

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 22, 2015) - It's that time of year when many upcoming college graduates stress about not only getting a job, but getting one that pays a decent wage.

"Yeah, I’ve been terrified to say the least!" said Christina, a senior at Butler University. "It’s scary to think about being on your own and living on your own."

But there is good news for new graduates this year.

Nearly two-thirds of employers plan to increase starting salaries, according to a report from the National Association for Colleges and Employers.

"I was thinking I was going to come out of college and I was going to make like $20,000," said Callum Shannon, a senior at Butler University. "But I've been hearing some really good numbers from people who found jobs around $40,000 to $50,000, so that’s really comforting to hear."

"It’s not that bad," he said. "I've done a couple of internships already. I've had a couple of interviews, so I think it’s a lot better than it was a couple of years ago."

The report also shows employers plan to hire 9.6% more college graduates this year than they did last year.

"I certainly think we've seen an increase in hiring, and we see that more employers are coming on campus to visit our students, so they’re getting jobs on a quicker basis than they used to," said Gary Beaulieu, director of Internship and Career Services at Butler University.

Also in the report, employers say they're primarily looking for grads who excel in critical thinking and problem-solving, as well as those strong in teamwork, professionalism and oral and written communication.

To find those candidates, recruiters are putting stronger emphasis on using technology to reach them. Sixty-five percent say they plan to use more social networks.

"We've seen less emphasis on job boards like CareerBuilder and Monster and more of an emphasis on the networking and electronically through LinkedIn, Facebook and social media," said Beaulieu. "Use anything that’s possible as an option for you. But spend more time on the networking piece. That’s the most important piece. That’s how people get jobs. It’s all about who you know."

"Regardless of a great job market, regardless of having a great resume and doing the internships, it still comes back to how you interview and how you build relationships with people. It really comes down to those social skills more than anything."

"The initial contact is really just asking to connect with them and after that you can start to deepen the relationship by asking for some advice," said Beaulieu. "You know, if I was to look for a position in your company, what would you recommend that I would do? What do you think I should do? Who do you think I should reach out to?"

"What I hear most is that students will stay in Indianapolis if they find a good job that’ll interest them," he continued. "It’s a good starting place for them."

That's exactly what Butler University sophomore Kevin Rhinesmith is thinking.

"I think there’s a lot of opportunity around Indianapolis for marketing," said Rhinesmith. "I looked into one with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, so just kind of cool, bigger venues like that, to be able to get experience and also just be a part of what’s going on around Indianapolis."

Same story for Stuart Jibbs, a junior.

"Here at Butler we actually are required two internships in the business program to graduate. So my first one this summer is in Fort Wayne and I’ll be interning with a company named Fort Wayne Metals as an IT intern and then looking forward I’ll be looking for my second one in Indianapolis to try to build connections here, so it’s just kind of a combination of building connections and knowing what area of the world you want to live in and just looking."

The National Association for Colleges and Employers report says engineering tops the list of what's currently in-demand. Business, computer science and accounting followed.