College grads embracing social media in job search

June 19, 2012

Whether you're a student parent or a mom considering pursuing a college degree in order to improve your job aspects, it's important to know that social media is playing a big role in many peoples' job searches these days.

According to a survey of recent college grads conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), 41 percent of 2012 college graduates in the market for a job are using social media to help them land one. In addition, many are using social media to network with as well as research potential employers.

"Nearly one-quarter of 2012 graduates using social media identified it as a research tool, up from 17 percent just a year ago, and up from 15 percent among 2010 graduates," said NACE executive director Marilyn Mackes. "Students are using it to seek out salary and compensation information, job descriptions, and information about the employer’s training and development programs."

The most commonly used social media tools include Facebook and LinkedIn, according to the survey of more than 48,000 college students.

The good news for those graduating from college this spring is that their job prospects are expected to be better than they were for those who graduated in recent years.

In addition, a recent survey of the college graduating class of 2012 conducted by job search engine website revealed that many are optimistic about their job prospects. Forty-three percent of students surveyed were optimistic about the job market following graduation, compared to 32 percent who were not sure, and 26 percent who were not optimistic.

Regardless of where new graduates end up working, they are likely to enjoy slightly higher salaries than those who graduated last year. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), the overall median salary for college graduates is up 4.5 percent to $42,569 for the Class of 2012.

In general, college educated individuals command higher salaries than those without a college degree. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2011, individuals with a bachelor's degree made an average of $1,053 per week, compared to $768 per week for those with an associate degree, $719 per week for those with some college (but no degree) and $638 per week for those with a high school diploma.

Additionally, recent research from the Pew Research Center reveals that over the course of a 40-year career, college graduates are expected to make about $650,000 more than those without a college degree.

Moms considering obtaining a college degree to increase their earning potential or improve their job marketability should know that help is available to make paying for an education easier. College scholarships for mothers, grants for parents and other financial aid can help offset the high cost of tuition.

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