- Recent college graduates are more attracted to jobs in the arts, media and social services than graduates were four years ago, according to an Indeed report. Indeed's findings show job seekers just out of college are less drawn to positions in business and finance.
- A tighter labor market may be giving new job seekers the confidence to look for security in occupations that are less traditional but better suited to them, Indeed posited. Recent graduates also showed interest in jobs in education, law and health care support, the report said.
- The 10 occupations on Indeed's list of those attracting new graduates between 2014 and 2018 include: graphic designer; film and video editor; marriage and family therapist; and art, drama or music teacher.
A tight labor market might be putting more workers in the driver's seat, emboldening them to choose careers based on factors other than pay. A preference for careers that are creatively and socially fulfilling could stem from workers' desires to align their personal beliefs and values with their daily work. A decline in the popularity of typically sought-after careers in business and finance could mean that salary, while still important to candidates, isn't the only concern for recent graduates.
Though new graduates aim high, whether they'll be able to land their dream job is unclear. The National Association of Colleges and Employers' 2018 Recruiting Benchmarks Survey Report found that graduates were receiving fewer job offers than in previous years. Perhaps surprisingly, the report also found that despite the decrease in job offers, graduates were still more particular about their job choices — a sign they still have confidence in their power in the labor market.
Employers looking to fill business and financial roles, in response, might have to step up recruiting efforts and examine corporate culture. Companies that adopt corporate social responsibility initiatives or support workers seeking secondary degrees in their passion fields, for example, may come out on top.
Meanwhile, several colleges are expanding their online programs to reach individuals seeking continuing education, and more colleges are adapting their curriculum or adding new credentials to help better align with the skills needed in the workforce. One hope of those changes is to correct an education "mix-match," wherein the workforce lacks the type of education needed for today's jobs.
Institutions are also looking to enhance their relationships with employers in order to increase that revenue stream amid declines in traditional enrollment. One example of that is Arizona State's newly launched InStride venture, which hopes to link employers and other institutions with workforce education opportunities.
Colleges concerned the liberal arts may be waning in influence should take heart in Indeed's report. To help such programs stay relevant amid the broader push to integrate job skills training into higher ed curriculum, some small liberal arts colleges have reoriented their curriculum around the practical ways in which that type of learning applies beyond the classroom.