2012 Graduates Pursuing Finance Sector Will Have it Easier Than Last Year’s Class, Says Challenger, Gray

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2012 Grads

And now, the fun really starts.

Although the job market for financial markets professionals remains extremely competitive and the economy is recovering at a snail's pace, this year's graduates who are pursuing a finance or accounting career have better prospects than they did a year ago, according to a new report from Challenger, Gray and Christmas.

The global outplacement firm says prospects for entry-level job candidates should benefit from companies’ need to rebuild "bench strength" after cutting millions of workers during the recession.

Not only should this year’s crop of 1.7 million college graduates fare slightly better than last year’s, says Challenger, Gray, but those likely to have the most success will purse “growth fields” which includes accounting and finance, along with engineering, computer science, sales and marketing, education, health care and social services.

Finance and Accounting

The report comes after Challenger, Gray reported that overall, financial institutions, facing impending new federal rules, have been hiring fewer people than they did during the first three quarters of 2011. Still, the finance and accounting sector is seen showing significant growth over the next decade, and new grads are seen having a bit less difficulty pursuing careers in the field over the balance of 2012.

“The job market still has a long way to go before full recovery, but the good news is that young job seekers with four-year degrees are in growing demand,” Challenger, Gray CEO John A. Challenger, told eFinancialCareers, observing that the private sector overall has seen positive employment gains for 25 consecutive months.

Challenger, Gray’s analysis of the Bureau of Labor Statistics data reveals that 20- to 24-year-olds were among the biggest benefactors during the 25 months of consecutive job gains.

While the BLS data does not break out employment by age and education level, the 20 to 24 age group is most likely to contain recent graduates, says the firm, adding that according to the data, the number of employed 20- to 24-year-olds increased by 939,000 from March 2010 to March of this year.

The only group to experience larger employment gains was at the opposite end of the age spectrum, says Challenger, Gray, adding that the number of workers 55 and older increased by 2,851,000 during the same period.

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