Who's Hiring New College Grads? Find Out Here

Calling all recent college grads: The overall job market looks tough, so here's some good places to look.


The top five employers of 2008 college graduates are Enterprise Rent-A-Car, AmeriCorps, Walgreen , IRS and Progressive Insurance , according to an annual survey conducted by the job site CollegeGrad.com, which lists the top 500 entry level employers.

(See slideshow for the top ten entry-level employers.)

The report also found that entry-level hires by these outfits are expected to increase 11.8 percent from a year ago.

Entry-level jobseekers can thank the aging Baby Boomers for the greater interest in this year’s college grads. With the first year of the baby boom generation now qualifying for retirement, it’s "imperative to hire talent right out of campus," says Dan Black, director of campus recruiting at Ernst & Young (which is expected to hire 3,180 college grads).

Black says the generation directly following that of the the boomers, called Generation X, is much smaller in number and unable to fill the gap, thus the next generation of workers -- now at an entry-level stage -- are in great demand..

Enterprise Rent-A-Car, for example, expects to hire 8,500 workers this year, more than any company on the list. The company trains its "future leadership," says Marie Artim, assistant vice president of recruiting, through a management-training program that all their entry-level employees go through. Many current senior managers, including Enterprise's CEO, have been through it.

When it comes to accounting jobs, you don't have to look far.

A separate survey conducted by CollegeGrad.com found that accounting majors were the most in demand major by employers were. The Big Four firms -- Ernst & Young, PricewaterhouseCoopers, KPMG and Deloitte & Touche -- are expected to hire a combined 13,000 college grads this year, and a large amount of them will be accounting majors.

Accounting majors may also find at open door at the IRS, which expects to hire 5,000 entry-level workers. Many of the jobs at the government’s tax collection agency require at least some accounting coursework.

For college grads who want to enter public service with a Good Samaritan twist, there are three do-gooder organizations on the top ten list.

One, AmeriCorps, will be taking in 6,000 graduates for a one-year community service program, ranging from education to health.

Teach for America expects to train about 3,700 graduates to teach in low-income neighborhoods across the country, and the Peace Corps will be accepting 3,276 graduates for its 27-month program that places volunteers around the world working in education or health education.

The job market, adds Artim, "continues to be strong for new grads."

Comments, Questions: joseph.pisani@nbcuni.com