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This Year’s Graduates Are Optimistic, Perhaps Overly So, About Job Prospects


The Chronicle of Higher Education. May 8, 2014.

Report: “Great Expectations: Insights From the Accenture 2014 College Graduate Employment Survey”

Authors: David Smith, Katherine LaVelle, Anthony Abbatiello

Organization: Accenture

Summary: Accenture, a management-consulting, technology-services, and outsourcing company, in March surveyed 1,010 students who are graduating in 2014 and 1,005 who graduated in 2013 or 2012. Survey respondents attended both two- and four-year colleges.


  • Eighty percent of this spring’s graduates expect their first employers to provide them with a formal training program, but less than half of respondents who graduated in 2012 and 2013 report that their employers provided one.
  • Eighty-four percent of 2014 graduates expect to find work in their chosen field. Sixty-seven percent of 2012 and 2013 graduates say they are working in their chosen field.
  • Among 2012 and 2013 graduates who have been unemployed since graduation (13 percent), 72 percent expect to go back to college within the next five years and 41 percent believe their job prospects would have been better had they chosen a different major.
  • Forty-five percent of 2012 and 2013 graduates with a two-year degree say they will need to earn a four-year degree to get the job they want.

Bottom Line: The job-market expectations of 2014 graduates don’t match up with what their peers who graduated in the two previous years have experienced.