Job openings match up well with Oklahoma's 2017 college grads

Sunday, April 30th, 2017 - Jobs

Oklahoma’s soon-to-be college graduates pair nicely with the state’s job market.

Estimates show more than 17,800 students will receive bachelor’s degrees from Oklahoma’s public colleges and universities this academic year. The most common bachelor’s degrees to be awarded will be in business administration and nursing, according to the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.

Nursing, business and general studies were the programs most frequently selected by the nearly 10,200 students projected to earn associate degrees.

The new graduates are entering the workforce at a time when the Oklahoma Works list of top 100 critical occupations projects there will be some 13,000 new job openings in business and more than 11,000 in nursing in the state in the next eight years.

The 100 jobs listed are deemed essential to Oklahoma’s economy recovery, said Natalie Shirley, secretary of education and workforce development. In addition to business and health care, the list include many jobs in engineering and technology fields. The hourly wage for the top 100 critical occupations ranges from $12.73 to $93.86.

Entry-level jobs

Oklahoma City was named one of the top 20 best job markets for 2017 college graduates by the online employment marketplace ZipRecruiter. The study looked at the overall availability of entry-level jobs for college graduates and the ratio of open entry-level jobs to the number of applicants for those jobs.

Business is listed as the top industry for No. 16 Oklahoma City, and junior account manager is the top job.

Similarly, business is the top industry for No. 2 Kansas City and No. 14. Denver, with account manager as the top job for both. The experience level required for a junior account manager is less than an account manager, which could make Oklahoma City more appealing to graduates with little experience, ZipRecruiter noted.

Topping the list is Minneapolis-St. Paul, one of 11 cities where technology is the top industry. The top jobs in all 11 is either project manager or software engineer.

Of 2,000 almost-graduates surveyed, more than 40 percent said they want to find a job within 25 miles of where they live.

Additional degrees

In addition to the 28,000 graduates earning associate and bachelor’s degrees, estimates from Oklahoma’s 25 public colleges and universities indicate:

• Nearly 1,300 students have earned college-level certificates, mainly in the areas of child development and human resources.

• 4,890 students will receive master’s degrees in a variety of fields, most notably in education, counseling and business.

• More than 630 students will earn doctoral degrees.

• More than 920 graduates will receive professional degrees in areas such as law and medicine.

“We are very pleased with the number of students earning degrees and graduating from our state’s public colleges and universities,” Chancellor Glen Johnson said. “The state regents congratulate these graduates and wish them the very best in their future career endeavors.”

Johnson said the Oklahoma higher education system is committed to increasing college degree and certificate attainment and producing the graduates required to meet the state’s workforce needs.

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