College Students: These 10 Industries Are Hiring Like Crazy

college graduation
Students at their college graduation | Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

College seniors, it’s time to get cracking on your resumes if you haven’t already. The job market is strong, according to Michigan State University’s Recruiting Trends survey, with hiring projected to increase 23% over last year.
“The college labor market has enjoyed six years of steady improvement since the depths of the recession between 2009 and 2010,” Phil Gardner, survey author and director of MSU’s Collegiate Employment Research Institute, said in a statement. “Our report shows that the hiring of college graduates has been moving at warp speed for the past two years. And signs in the early fall of 2016 point again to another explosive year of hiring.”
Researchers asked 4,350 employers in every state about their hiring plans for this year. They found that employers in a wide range of industries are expecting to expand their payrolls this year. Increased turnover and strong business growth are driving increased hiring, as are a handful of companies which plan to hire a large number of grads. Overall, the companies surveyed planned to hire 107,200 new graduates this year.
While the overall outlook for hiring is good, the future looks especially bright for graduates in fields like hospitality, business, and finance, which all expect to boost hiring by 20% or more. Construction is also on the upswing, with businesses expected to increase their hiring of graduates by 54% this year. Hiring is also expected to increase in the government and non-profit sectors.
People looking for work in certain manufacturing subsectors may want to start panicking now, though. Hiring looks to be down 37% compared to last year in chemicals and pharmaceuticals manufacturing and 20% in food processing. Hiring in architectural design will be down 29%.
There’s good news on the salary front, too. Starting salaries are expected to be up an average 4%, the survey found. Nearly half of employers also plan to raise starting salary offers.
“We have not seen this level of employers raising salary offers since 2006-07,” Gardner said. “It’s the first sign that salaries are beginning to rise at a fast pace.”
Here are 10 industries that expect to significantly increase their hiring of new grads with bachelor’s degrees this year compared to last.

10. Utilities

wind turbine
A wind turbine | Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Hiring increase: 23%
Jobs for bachelor’s degree holders in the electric power, natural gas, water supply and sewage, and air conditioning industries should increase by 23% this year. People with less than a year of experience who work in the water utilities industry earn about $47,000 annually, according to Payscale, while those in entry-level electric power distribution positions earn about $58,000 per year.

9. Advertising and marketing

peggy olson in mad men
Advertising copywriter Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss) in Mad Men | AMC

Hiring increase: 24%
Hiring is strong in the professional, business, and scientific sector, where jobs should increase by 19% for new bachelor’s degree holders. Things are looking especially good for people who want to work in advertising and marketing. The typical company hiring in this area will bring on three more people than they did last year. Marketing majors earned an average starting salary of $49,419 in 2015, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

8. Mortgage banking

wells fargo home mortgage sign
A Wells Fargo Home Mortgage branch | Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Hiring increase: 38%
The housing market is hot, and the projected hiring in the mortgage banking industry shows it. Companies will increase the number of new B.A.s they hire by 38%. The average number of hires per company will be just over 414, up from about 300 in 2015-16.

7. Health care

Nurse helping elderly patient
Nurse helping a patient |

Hiring increase: 38%
Health care is a growing field, topping the list of best jobs for 2017. Overall hiring people with bachelor’s degrees will be up 38%. There’s a particularly high demand for people wanting to work in social assistance, a broad category that includes home care aides, social service managers, and social workers.

6. Accommodations and food service

hotel front desk
People check in at a hotel | Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Hiring increase: 38%
There should be more jobs at hotels and restaurants for bachelor’s degree holders this year compared to last. Unfortunately, degrees in hospitality and tourism also have a poor return on investment in terms of future earnings potential, according to

5. Administrative services

A receptionist at work | Carl Court/Getty Images

Hiring increase: 53%
The broad category of administrative services, which includes jobs in office administration, employment services, and business support, is doing well. Hiring of recent grads should increase by 53% this year.

4. Accounting

accountant at work
Accountant at work |

Hiring increase: 53%
Number-crunching students, rejoice. Hiring for new accountants should be up 53% this year. The average starting salary for accounting majors in 2014 was $51,475, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

3. Construction

home under construction
Home under construction home | jandrielombard

Hiring increase: 54%
After being stuck in the doldrums for years, hiring is up for bachelor’s degree holders in residential construction and specialty trades, according to MSU’s survey of employers. These jobs can also pay well. Construction managers – who usually have a B.A. – earn $87,400 per year, on average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

2. Manufacturing

Gears |

Hiring increase: Up to 75%
Manufacturing jobs seem to be on the rebound, at least in some industries. Overall, companies will boost hiring of new bachelor’s degree holders by 17% compared to last year, but growth will be particularly strong in some industries. In electrical manufacturing, hiring will be up by 75%, while hiring in the machinery sector will be up 48%. But hiring will be down in chemicals and pharmaceuticals, food processing, and plastics.

1. Investment advisers

financial accounting concept with graphs
Close-up of financial documents |

Hiring increase: 100%
Job growth in the financial industry is strong, with hiring up 39% over last year. But the real bright spot is the investment advisory sector, with employers expecting to boost job offers to new grads by 100%. Companies will hire an average of 117 new investment advisors this year, up from 59 in 2015-16. Jobs in commercial banks, in contrast, are harder to come by, with hiring in that sector down 9% from 2015-16.
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