In an annual survey conducted by Harris Interactive and sponsored by CareerBuilder, researchers found 54 percent of employers indicated they had plans to hire a freshly minted college graduate this year.
The figure is a solid jump from the 46 percent from a poll taken a year earlier and 44 percent in the poll taken in 2010, CareerBuilder said.
The survey of 2,000 hiring managers conducted Feb. 9 through March 2 found 20 percent of employers indicated their starting wage was less than $30,000, while 30 percent indicated salaries started at $30,000 to $40,000 and 28 percent said salaries would exceed $50,000 for recent college graduates.
Twenty-one percent indicated starting salaries fell between $40,000 and $50,000.
Thirty-nine percent of hiring managers indicated they were seeking a candidate with a business degree, while 24 percent indicated someone with a computing and information services degree was on their hiring list.
Twenty-three percent indicated an engineering degree would help. From there, the demand for various degrees drops.
Thirteen percent of hiring managers indicated they are seeking a job candidate with a math or statistics degree, matched by the health profession (13 percent) and followed by communications (12 percent) and liberal arts (9 percent).
Those numbers don't directly match up with responses to the question, "What jobs are employers targeting college grads to fill?" CareerBuilder said.
Respondents indicated the jobs available involve information technology (25 percent), customer service (23 percent), sales (21 percent), finance or accounting (18 percent), marketing (17 percent) and business development (17 percent).
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