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College Grads Find Economy Improving, But Slowly

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William Jones

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute senior William Jones, who graduates May 28 and, like many of his classmates, has a job lined up.

Jay Greene/CNET

New graduates with bachelor's degrees will be hired at an increased rate of about 10 percent this year, the first increase in two years, according to a survey of 4,600 employers by Michigan State University's Collegiate Employment Research Institute (CERI).

The survey found that job prospects were the best for graduates with degrees in engineering and computer science. "Technical skills will always get picked up first," says CERI director Philip Gardner.

Meanwhile, a recent National Association of Colleges and Employers study found that 63 percent of employers who plan to hire new college graduates will pick engineering majors. Graduates with degrees in engineering and computer science also start with higher salaries, according to CERI's survey, which found that computer programming graduates receive an average yearly salary of $49,229. CERI also found that companies with more than 4,000 employees are planning to increase hiring new graduates with bachelor's degrees by 11 percent in 2011.

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