Positive outlook for 2017 college graduates


JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) — Now that spring is officially here, college students all over mid-Michigan are getting their caps and gowns prepared for graduation.

But what’s the outlook for them finding a job when school’s done?

6 News talked to officials at Jackson College.

They’re optimistic that most college graduates will find a job quickly, but it depends on what kind of training they have.

In her Friday morning nursing class, Catelyn Preston practiced her skills on a medical dummy.

“I definitely want to work in a hospital,” Preston said.

The student at Jackson College is looking forward to starting her career as a registered nurse.

“As far as the health field goes, there’s a need for it everywhere,” Preston said.

Jeremy Frew, Dean of Occupational Education at Jackson College, says nursing is one of many medical professions with a high rate of hire after graduation.

The same goes for skilled trades in manufacturing and the automotive industry.

“They’re begging for people in there. So these students who are going to be leaving and graduating in the spring, most of them should be walking into jobs,” Frew said. “The outlooks are really good actually from community college right now.”

Frew says as jobs of the future shift to using more technology, schools have to keep up so workers aren’t left behind.

“We’re constantly out meeting with industry professionals and they’re helping us drive what we go for in the future, and also what we need to stop offering,” Frew said.

But he’s says the good jobs of today and tomorrow require some kind of formal training.

“It may not be an associate’s degree, it could be a year of training, but it will get them in the door, they know that they have that skill, and they can put them to work very quickly,” Frew said.

Getting ready for a long career in nursing, Preston sees this as a welcome change.

“I think it’s good because you focus on where you really want to be, rather than just what’s available. You can go into something that interests you,” Preston said.

The National Association of College and Employers did a nationwide survey, and found that employers nationwide plan to fire 5.8 percent more new graduates in 2017.

Employers in the Midwest reported the largest expected hiring increase at 7.1 percent.

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