Employers are Investing in Business Talent

At Kelley, we talk a lot about “momentum:” Our graduates earn career momentum by using their unique knowledge and strategic insight to make a difference. But in an uncertain economy, momentum can be fickle – and Kelley experts are seeing signs of slower growth ahead.

Recently, the Kelley School’s annual Business Outlook Panel forecast only modest gains for Indiana’s economy in 2016. Sluggish output and the long shadow of China’s economic turmoil are key reasons for these gloomy predictions, although solid demand for cars and industrial machinery save the state from a more pessimistic analysis.

The findings of the Business Outlook Panel echo the results of this year’s Indiana Manufacturing Survey, co-authored by Kelley Indianapolis faculty Steve Jones and Mark Frohlich. The annual survey of manufacturers, released last month, found a somber mood among employers in the state’s largest industry. Respondents were less confident in their companies’ financial performance, less eager to invest, and less hopeful about the global competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing overall.

There’s a silver lining to this stormy economy, however: Companies are still recruiting young workers, betting on future growth. Two recent national surveys of employers measure double-digit increases in expected hiring of new college graduates in 2016. Michigan State University’s ‘Recruiting Trends’ survey is a highly-respected analysis that’s been around for 45 years and reaches thousands of corporate decision-makers – it predicts a 15% increase in openings for new grads next year.

Looking into the results, there’s even better news for business graduates. Some of the strongest opportunities are in the ‘Business/Professional Services’ sector, where hiring is expected to rise 38%. The accounting industry is another hot spot, projecting a 63% boost. New talent is also in demand in Finance, with anticipated 28% increase.

These numbers are backed up by the annual college hiring report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), whose private sector members are looking to hire 11% more new graduates in ’16.

NACE hasn’t yet released career-specific data from this year’s study, but they did publish a new survey of colleges and universities in September that’s positive for MBA graduates as well: More than 70% of schools reported increased on-campus recruiting, and 60% saw more job postings for MBAs. As companies see difficult times ahead, they seem to be investing in new management talent to help chart a course towards success.

In a tough market, every member of the team has to bring value. As economic momentum slows, the competitive advantage for Kelley School of Business Indianapolis graduates becomes more apparent: Expert faculty, a proven curriculum that balances theory and practice, and the unique hands-on experience that comes with living and learning in the economic crossroads of Indiana.

That’s why our undergrad and accounting placement rates are perennially over 90%, our Evening MBA grads command the respect of the region’s largest and most dynamic employers, and Kelley alumni continue to earn their reputation for turning challenging moments into opportunities for momentum.