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Hiring Outlook for 2012

Hope you are having a happy new year! I thought we would kick off 2012 by taking a look at the job market. Every year the Midwest Association of Colleges and Employers releases a report called “Recruiting Trends”—this year’s report provides information from 3,700 employers related to their hiring intentions for 2012. Here are some key points from the report that you might find interesting....

  • Hiring across all degrees will go up 4% in 2012, with Bachelors hiring up 7% this year.

  • Accounting, most engineering disciplines, finance, and supply chain are expected to do well this year.

  • No sector appears stronger than agriculture/food processing with a 14% + increase in hires.

  • CSE majors are still in strong demand in nearly every sector, and the supply of graduates will not be sufficient to fill all available positions.

  • Employers emphasize candidate’s flexibility. Those willing to take on new assignments, shift jobs, adjust work to suit client or project requirements, or travel have an edge over competition.

  • The Southern (Southeast, South-Central, and Southwest) and Great Lakes regions will experience double-digit growth in job opportunities.

  • Internship programs emerge as the top strategy used by most employers (not including posting to college and organization websites).

  • Starting salary levels are not predicted to change because 70% of employers have no intention of raising salaries. However, bonuses and commission-based salaries are creeping back.

  • 15% of respondents (500+ companies) indicated their company planned to sponsor hires with an H-1B visa.



Increase or decrease in BA/BS hiring for industries related to engineering:



Agriculture and Natural Resources +76% Mining and Oil +7%
Information +23% Government +4%
Transportation +20% Utilities +1%
Finance and Insurance +8% Manufacturing -2%
Construction +7%  


Hiring in manufacturing subsectors, 2011-2012 sector—change in BA/BS hiring (%):



Printing and Related Activities +30% Fabricated Metals -11%
Machinery +21% Electrical Equipment -19%
Primary Metals +19% Surgical Equipment -22%
Chemical +16% Computer and Electronic -32%
Food Processing +14% Aircraft -33%
All Other Manufacturing +5%  


We hope you find this information useful as you delve into your job search!

"Engineering is the practice of safe and economic application of the scientific laws governing the forces and materials of nature by means of organization, design and construction, for the general benefit of mankind."
-S. E. Lindsay



About the author

Rachel Kaschner

Rachel Kaschner is the Assistant Director at Engineering Career Services.