• Current Benchmarks

    Career Services

    Among responding career centers:

    • More than three-quarters have centralized operations.
    • The most common office title includes “career services.”
    • The average career center is 2,573 square feet and four interview rooms.
    • 98 percent of career centers offer counseling by appointment.
    • 90 percent sponsor career fairs.
    • Survey respondents average four career fairs each academic year.
    • Commonly offered services include counseling, career classes for credit, internships, career fairs, on-campus interviewing, career workshops, student employment, assessment tools, and career resources libraries.
    • Almost all career centers host a career center website and an online job-posting system.
    • Only about 16 percent of career centers offer credential files services.
    • More than four-fifths of survey respondents indicated that their university offers internship positions for academic credit.
    • 60 percent offered on-campus interview programs.
    • Career centers offer an average of 70 workshops.
    • About 91 percent of survey respondents offer career assessment tools.
    • Four-fifths of career centers offer a career resource library; almost all are available electronically.
    • 82 percent of career centers reported that they collected outcomes data on graduates.
    • Development, distribution, and analysis of first-destination surveys is the responsibility of almost 80 percent of career centers.
    • Almost 48 percent of respondents use NACE’s First-Destination Survey Standards and Protocols. Close to two-thirds of those will report the results of their student outcomes data to NACE for aggregation.
    • The average ratio of students to career services personnel is 2,672 to 1.
    • The average salary for a director is $74,300. Directors average 17 years of experience in the field.
    • 77.6 percent of career services offices rely on institutional funding for their annual budgets.
    • Few career services offices charge fees to students.
    • Career centers charge employers an average $191 to $288 to participate in a career fair.
    • Less than one-quarter of career services offices have a partnership program with employers.
    • Half of respondents conducted an operations assessment within the past five years.

    Source: NACE 2014-15 Career Services Benchmark Survey for Colleges and Universities


    Among responding employers:

    • The number of internships and co-ops remained unchanged in 2015.
    • Career fairs and on-campus recruiting are rated highest in effectiveness for recruiting interns and co-ops.
    • Employers choose schools for recruiting interns and co-ops based on geographic location of the school, academic majors offered, past recruiting experience at the school, and perceived quality of the programs.
    • It takes employers an average of 35 days from job-posting to interview and 16 days from interview to offer.
    • The average hourly wage for interns at the bachelor's degree-level is $17.20. The average hourly wage for interns at a master's degree-level is $23.83.
    • The highest salaries for bachelor’s degree-level interns were reported for computer science and engineering majors, while the lowest were reported for education, liberal arts, and social sciences majors.
    • The average hourly wage for co-ops at a bachelor’s degree-level is $17.36. The average hourly wage for master’s degree-level co-ops is $22.15.
    • By industry, the highest paid bachelor’s level co-ops were in the oil and gas extraction and chemical (pharmaceutical) manufacturing industries; the lowest paid were in the finance, insurance, and real estate, and retail trade industries.
    • The most common benefits for interns and co-ops include planned social activities, paid holidays, and recognition for work service time.
    • Interns and co-ops working for NACE employer members spend the majority of their time with analytical and problem-solving tasks and project management.
    • Overall, the most highly regarded skills in interns and co-ops were the ability to work in a team, the ability to obtain and process information, organizational and planning skills, verbal communication skills, and decision-making/problem-solving skills.
    • Overall, the most influential attributes for both internship and co-op positions were major, leadership experience, and grade-point average.
    • Where an employee held his or her previous internship or co-op experience—whether at the same employer or at a different employer—had little effect on one-year retention rates. This factor, however, was quite influential at the five-year benchmark.
    • The intern conversion rate was 51.7 percent. The co-op conversion rate was 37.8 percent.

    Source: NACE 2015 Internship & Co-op Survey

    University Relations and Recruiting

    Among responding employers:

    • Most respondents (73.3 percent) focused their university recruiting on U.S. students for U.S.-based positions.
    • Recent college graduates represented 54.3 percent of responding employers' new hires for full-time, entry-level positions.
    • On average, university relations and recruiting operations have an average of 14.2 full-time staff.
    • The average total annual recruiting budget for a university relations and recruiting operation was $532,220.
    • Respondents cited branding as the most important part of the university recruiting program.
    • High-touch activities—career/job fairs, on-campus information systems, and building relationships with key faculty—were among the most widely used and highly rated (in terms of effectiveness) branding techniques.
    • Approximately 78 percent of respondents reported using social media in their recruiting efforts—up from 70 percent just two years ago (2013).
    • Nearly all responding employers (96.3 percent) recruited Class of 2015 graduates through on-campus activities. An average of 63.7 percent of respondents' new hires for full-time, entry-level positions were recruited through on-campus activities.
    • Respondents reported selecting schools to target for recruiting based on academic majors offered, perceived quality of academic programs, the organization's recruiting experience at the school, and the school's accreditation. However, these selection criteria do not correspond to high offer rates.
    • Respondents universally relied on career centers as an on-campus resource for recruiting (100 percent).
    • Employers attended an average of 31 career fairs during the 2014-15 recruiting season.
    • Job postings on campus and company websites were the most widely used technical applications; they were also deemed most effective.
    • More than three-quarters of employers reported using on-campus interviews; among these employers, an average of 59.9 percent of their new graduate hires took part in an on-campus interview.
    • Video interviewing has been gaining ground: In 2006, just 6.7 percent of respondents used video interviewing; in the 2015 survey, 31.6 percent reported doing so.
    • The average amount of time from job posting to interview was 34.6 days.
    • The average amount of time between offer and acceptance was 14.3 days.
    • For 2014-15, the average offer rate was 37.6 percent; the average acceptance rate was 73.7 percent.
    • More than 90 percent of respondents reported offering a company matched 401(k) plan, and more than half offered more than two weeks of vacation. However, few provided 100 percent employer-paid medical insurance or guaranteed annual salary increases, which are among the benefits students prefer.
    • Nearly 71 percent of responding employers reported having a formal diversity recruiting effort.
    • Among those with a formal effort, women, African-Americans, and Hispanic-Americans are their highest priorities.
    • In terms of diversity hiring challenges, employers encountered the most difficulty with hiring diverse cohorts in the STEM disciplines.
    • Rotational programs are gaining in popularity: Among respondents to the current survey, 46.9 percent reported having such a program.

    Source: NACE 2015 Recruiting Benchmarks Survey


    Among graduating members of the Class of 2015:

    • Post-graduate plans support the idea that the job market for new college graduates is improving: A larger percentage of the Class of 2015 (60.8 percent) planned to enter the work force than was the case with those graduating from 2012 through 2014.
    • At the same time, a slightly smaller portion of the class planned to enroll immediately into another degree program (22.7 percent versus 23.4 percent in 2013 and 2014).
    • Graduates majoring in computer science, education, and finance were most likely to expect to enter the work force immediately.
    • Biology, history, philosophy, the physical sciences, psychology, and theology majors were most likely to plan to continue their education immediately following graduation.
    • By gender, men were more likely than women to plan to enter the work force.
    • Students with a high GPA (3.5 to 4.0) were most likely to plan to further their education immediately.
    • Overall, women pursuing advanced education fared better than their male counterparts in receiving and accepting an offer to attend an advanced program (57.7 percent versus 52 percent).
    • Overall, the Class of 2015 saw the highest offer rate—50.6 percent—of any graduating class since the recession.
    • Most students who applied for jobs received one or two offers (one: 62.6 percent; two: 27 percent).
    • The Class of 2015 had the lowest acceptance rate since the Class of 2012 (58 percent versus 62.5 percent).
    • More than one-fourth of all students who had applied to jobs prior to graduation had accepted an offer (29.3 percent).
    • By field of study, among those who had applied for a job, those earning degrees in accounting, computer science, engineering, and finance were most likely to have landed a job.
    • The median starting salary offer for all Class of 2015 students was $44,651 up from $43,937 for the Class of 2014.
    • The median starting salary offer is in line with the Consumer Price index; rather than actually increasing, wages for new college graduates are holding steady with cost-of-living increases. The median starting salary offer of $44,651 translates into $40,800 in 2010 dollars, when the median starting salary offer was $39,175.
    • Career fairs are also popular among job-seeking students; 88.4 percent said they attended career/job fairs, and 62.1 percent rated them as either very or extremely effective.
    • Company representatives also earned high ratings in terms of effectiveness: Two-thirds of students rated them as very or extremely effective resources.
    • In terms of the types of information they seek through job-search websites, current job openings and salary/compensation information top their list.
    • In general, job-seeking students were lukewarm about social networking as part of the job search. Although more than three-quarters of job-seeking students used social networking, less than half rated it as a very or extremely effective resource. Privacy issues related to social networking remain a concern among students.
    • More than half of job-seeking students make multiple visits to their career center during a single semester. In fact nearly 22 percent of job-seeking students made four or more visits per semester, and 29.3 percent visited two or three times a semester.
    • Students visiting the career center were most likely to seek job listings, resume writing/reviewing, and job-search assistance from their career center. Job listings and resume reviews earned high marks in terms of their helpfulness.
    • Nearly two-thirds of responding students (65.4 percent) said they participated in an internship, co-op, or both.
    • Internships were more common than co-op experiences.
    • More than half (58.8 percent) of those taking part in an internship or co-op did so with a private, for-profit company.
    • More than half of interns were paid (60.8 percent).
    • Three-quarters of students who participated in an internship or co-op said they were very or extremely satisfied with their experience.
    • Not surprisingly, their level of satisfaction played a key role in determining whether an intern/co-op would be likely to accept an offer of full-time employment for the employer. Nearly 60 percent of those who said they were extremely satisfied said they were also extremely likely to accept a job offer from their employer.
    • Those serving internships/co-ops enjoy a distinct advantage in the job market over those who lack such experience. Overall, 56.5 percent of students who performed an internship/co-op received at least one job offer, while those only 36.5 percent of those with no internship/co-op experience received at least one job offer.
    • Paid interns/co-ops with private, for-profit companies enjoyed the highest offer rate (72.2 percent).
    • Offer rates for students in unpaid positions ranged from 33.8 percent to 50.0 percent, depending on whether the position was with a private, for-profit organization, state/local government, or federal agency.
    • Paid interns/co-ops at private, for-profit companies also enjoyed higher starting salary offers; their median offer was $53,521.
    • Students expressed a near universal preference for jobs/employers that offered them personal growth opportunities (93.2 percent), and strong preferences for job security (86.2 percent) and a good benefits package (79.9 percent).
    • In terms of benefits, overall students expressed a preference for 1) more than two weeks of vacation, 2) tuition reimbursement for advanced education, 3) a company-matched 401(k) program, 4) 100 percent employer-paid medical insurance, and 5) guaranteed annual salary increases.
    • Education and healthcare stood out as the most popular industries among job-seeking students.
    • In terms of salary expectations, student who planned to enter the work force anticipated an overall median starting salary of $40,547.
    • Computer science ($57,273), engineering ($61,001), and engineering technology ($56,563) majors had the highest starting salary expectations.
    • The likelihood a student would accept a job offer was directly tied to salary expectations. Overall, students who had accepted an offer had a median starting salary expectation of $49,759—and their actual median starting salary was 1 percent higher at $50,240.
    • Conversely, those who refused offers had a median starting salary expectation of $41,251, but their actual median starting salary offer fell almost 10 percent shy of that mark at $37,412.
    • Students' starting salary expectations match cost-of-living increases. In fact, in comparing the median salary expectation in 2010 ($37,304) to the current median reveals slightly lower expectations. The current overall median expectation-- $40,547—translates into $37,050 in 2010 dollars.

    Source: NACE Class of 2015 Student Survey