Report: College grads see hiring advantage

JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) – There’s good news for college graduates looking for jobs.

A new report says no matter what level, just having a degree makes a difference.

Michigan State University surveyed more than 4,000 employers and found there’s a 19 percent jump in hiring among job candidates with a bachelor’s degree.

The good news spreads beyond a 4-year degree.

The new report offers some encouraging news for students at community colleges as well.

The news of this report got a warm welcome at Jackson College, where the vast majority of students are working toward an associate’s degree.

Hunter Reid is one of those students.

She says many of her classmates are now more optimistic about their futures.

“They’re proud of themselves, they’re working hard. They’re more excited to start a career that they really want to do,” Reid said.

The new report from MSU shows they have good reason to be hopeful.

A nationwide survey of employers shows hiring of workers with just an associate’s degree is up 37 percent.

“I will say I wasn’t necessarily surprised,” said Rebekah Woods, Provost of Jackson College.

In recent years, officials at Jackson College have seen more opportunities for grads in areas like information technology and healthcare.

“Also advanced manufacturing. That’s going to be a big field for Jackson, specifically. But all of Michigan as well,” Woods said.

As tuition costs at universities skyrockets, Woods says more students turn to community colleges.

“A lot of the benefits of being in your community, and making those connections,” Woods said.

Employers surveyed say they plan to hire more than 100,000 college grads over the next year.

Student Balaal Hollings already has one associate’s degree and sees the benefits.

“Just putting down an associate’s degree alone, I got more call backs, more job opportunities,” Hollings said.

The cherry on top of this good news is that experts say starting salaries for graduates should also be strong.

The survey also says hiring is expected to grow by 23 percent overall in the next year.

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