Who’s getting hired?

Computer science majors lead the pack

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Print this page by Catherine MacDonald

Computer science ranks as the undergraduate major with the highest job offer rate for the class of 2011. More than 56 percent of computer science majors who applied for a job have received an offer, according to a survey of employer members of the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

Accounting majors came in second with 53.6 percent receiving offers, and economics and engineering majors weren’t far behind. On the other end of the spectrum, education and English majors saw weak job offer rates of 19.5 percent and 23.5 percent, respectively. Both percentages declined from the previous year.

Overall, though, the job situation is looking brighter. Of the 873 employer members that Pennsylvania-based NACE surveyed across the country this spring, about 20 percent responded. Based on their feedback, NACE reports

that 41.2 percent of students in the class of 2011 who applied for a job have received at least one offer, compared with 38.2 percent of 2010 graduates at this time last year. In addition, employers say they will hire 19.3 percent more graduates in 2011 than they did in the 2009-2010 school year.

Several companies have recently made hiring announcements in Virginia. One of the Richmond area’s largest employers, Capital One Financial Corp., plans to hire thousands of people over the next few years. Laura Fuentes, vice president of recruiting, said hundreds of those jobs will go to recent graduates. While Capital One has hired mainly business, computer science, economics, engineering and finance majors, the company is looking for a variety of backgrounds.  “We try to cast a wide net (when we recruit) at schools,” she says. Capital One recruits at six Virginia schools, as well as other universities across the country.

SnagAJob in Glen Allen also is hiring. Since December, 181 new hires joined the Web-based job recruiter, and it plans to hire 35 more. Recent graduates snatched up more than 100 of these positions, says SnagAJob Director of People Betsy Kersey. The majority of these were sales positions, for which the company looks at all majors. A couple of engineering positions went to computer science majors. All of the jobs require four-year bachelor degrees.

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