How's the Job Market Now for New College Grads?

Image Credit: Laurence Dutton/E+/GettyImages

You did it. After all the years of hard work, you've reached college graduation day. But now, a new challenge lies ahead. It's time to find a job that you can turn into a career. Knowing what the job market looks like for college graduates can help decide what positions to go for. It can also help determine what part of the country you should focus on.


COVID-19 Still Affects Job Market

Because of COVID-19, the college graduates of 2020 took it on the chin. Lay-offs were prevalent. The economy was shut down, so no one was hiring. It's a year later, and 45 percent of 2020 graduates are still searching for permanent work.


Video of the Day

There are those 2020 graduates who aren't working at all. Thirty-one percent are still unemployed after receiving their college degree.

So, a new college grad must compete for jobs with the class of 2020, and those individuals who were laid off last year.


Consider also:How to Write a Winning Resume for College Grads

Jobs In Demand 2021

Half the jobs in the top 10 of Indeed's list of in-demand careers are in health care. Other careers in demand on Indeed's list were related to finance and technology. So if your degree is health or computer-oriented, you probably have increased your chances of employment.


With 45 percent growth forecasted in 2021, business development is also a hot button when it comes to careers. Other careers in 2021 that are on the rise include:

  • digital marketing:​ 33 percent growth
  • professional and personal coaching:​ 51 percent growth
  • digital content:​ 49 percent growth
  • education:​ 20 percent growth
  • mental health:​ 24 percent growth


You don't necessarily have to have a degree that specifically relates to these types of jobs to be eligible for them. A digital content writer might have a business degree. Or a business development position might be held by a graduate with a communications degree.

Consider also:Should You Bring a Cover Letter to Job Fairs?


Job Opportunities in the U.S.

Different regions in the U.S. are more robust for job hunting than others. If you're willing to move, parts of the country with low unemployment are still looking for employees. Some states with companies that are recruiting new hires are:


  • Nebraska:​ 3.8 percent unemployment rate
  • North Dakota:​ 3.1 percent unemployment rate
  • Texas:​ 6.6 percent unemployment rate
  • South Dakota:​ 4.5 percent unemployment rate
  • Arizona:​ 8.1 percent unemployment rate

All these states have stable job markets and would be a great place to start a job search.


Knowing the job market is important, but taking advantage of opportunities is imperative. It's more important than ever to use the job search tools that are available at your college. In addition, seniors should take advantage of university placement officers to help with the job search. They can assist with building a resume and tutor you in a mock interview.


Your university placement officer will probably organize virtual job fairs. Take full advantage of them. It will allow you to talk to HR or hiring managers for different companies and potentially get your foot in the door of a high-demand industry. These discussions are:

  • audio-only
  • video
  • text-based chats


These give you the opportunity to have virtual interviews with potential employers without the travel and expense. It also allows you to prioritize what jobs you will pursue.


Thanks to the 2020 pandemic, finding a full-time job that leads to a career is a little tougher for 2021 college graduates. These graduates are competing with the class of 2020 who were denied career opportunities. There's also competition from experienced workers who were laid off. But it doesn't need to be gloom and doom.

Prepare yourself. Take full advantage of university placement officers and the services they provide. Stay flexible and be willing to move to snag that coveted job.