Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Opinion

April 27, 2014

Job outlook better, grads

Indiana University President Michael McRobbie will preside over 2014 commencement ceremonies on seven campuses next month, where 18,829 students will be eligible to receive degrees, the university announced Tuesday.

First-generation students represent 24.3 percent of the IU system’s graduating class and likely a significant percentage at IU Kokomo, where 606 degrees will be awarded to 599 students. Commencement will be held at the campus pavilion, east of Virgil and Elizabeth Hunt Hall, beginning at 10:30 a.m. May 13.

Kokomo’s Ivy Tech Community College campus will hold graduation ceremonies at 10 a.m. May 10. Campus officials said Thursday 600 students have applied for graduation. And at 6 p.m. May 13, 25 students of Kokomo’s Purdue University College of Technology will graduate at Havens Auditorium on the IU Kokomo campus.

It is our wish the hard work and sacrifice of these graduates will be rewarded with a good job. A survey released just 11 days ago suggests more will than those who earned degrees a year earlier.

According to the survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, companies expect to hire 8.6 percent additional graduates this year than they did in 2013. Last year’s survey found just 2.1 percent of employers planned to hire new graduates.

College majors most desired by employers, the survey said, were business, engineering, accounting and computer science. Employers said 80.8 percent of the 2014 graduates they hire will have bachelor’s degrees.

The median income of the average American 25 to 34 years old with a four-year college degree was $44,970 in 2011, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Those in the same age group with high school diplomas had a median income of $29,950.

About 28.2 percent of Americans over the age of 24 have a bachelor’s degree today, the Census Bureau estimates. In Howard County, however, just 19.7 percent of residents have at least a four-year degree, according to the Census Bureau. Here, the per-capita income for all residents is $23,631, and 15.3 percent of residents live below the poverty level.

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