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College grads’ job offer, acceptance rates decrease

March 12, 2019

Job offer and acceptance rates for college graduates both decreased in 2018, according to a new survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

NACE’s 2018 Recruiting Benchmarks Survey Report found that, overall, an average of 40.5% of graduates who interviewed for a job received an offer, down from 45.6% in a similar survey conducted one year ago. Employers also reported an overall acceptance rate of 66.9%, a decrease from 68.2% in 2017.

When occurring together, higher offer rates and lower acceptance rates generally are indicators of a more robust college hiring market, according to NACE. Nevertheless, in last year’s market when students received fewer offers, they still tended to be more selective about the offers they did receive.

The unemployment rate for young college graduates, ages 20 to 24, somewhat explains the anomaly between the offer and acceptance rates, NACE stated. On one hand, the market became somewhat softer for college graduates in 2018, which is why the offer rate was down and the unemployment rate was up.

However, it is likely that 2018 graduates responded to the trend established over the previous three years when the market was improving, particularly for the previous graduating class in 2017. Graduates in 2018 thought they could do better given how hot the market was for the previous class, according to NACE. Therefore, they were more selective and the acceptance rate dropped.

The survey on which this report is based was conducted from June 20 until Sept. 10, 2018; it included 218 total respondents from organizations holding membership in NACE.

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