We allknow that soon-to-be graduates are facing one of the toughest job markets indecades—the U.S. Labor Department reported on Thursday that unemployment is thehighest it's been in 26 years. What doesthis mean for the Class of 2009? Arecent Vault survey of undergraduate and MBA employers says that winningpostgraduate employment will be an uphill battle—a staggering 76.8 percent ofthe approximately 150 respondents told us that they have reduced their hiringgoals from what they originally planned for the 2008-2009 school year. So what should students expect as they starttheir job or internship search?
For onething, students should not assume that their salary offers will be any higherthan those received by their friends from the Class of 2008. Although salary offers typically increaseabout 5 percent from year to year, insiders say that is far from a given thisyear. Slightly more than half of undergraduateemployers said that they would be keeping their salary offers the same as lastyear. Even in the MBA employment market,which tends to be more competitive, 50.5 percent reported that salary offerswould remain flat. Simple economicsexplains this phenomenon: as the demand for something decreases (in this case,that “something” is campus talent), so does the price, all other factorsremaining equal.
Thecharts below summarize the responses we received regarding salary offers.