IT Managers To Hire Fewer College Grads In 2008

The top three factors in getting the job include a good fit with the company culture; experience; and the candidate comes in with ideas and asks good questions, says

IT jobs, IT managers,, Harris Interactive, hiring trend, HR, graduate,

Tech job prospects for new college graduates look pretty good despite the weak economy, according to a new survey by online job site

Nearly 7-in-10 IT hiring managers expect to employ college grads in 2008, according to the survey conducted for by Harris Interactive between mid-February and mid-March. That's not bad, but it's down from 82% of IT managers who expected to hire new grads in 2007, based on last year's survey.

Still, hiring plans of IT managers are more ambitious than most other hiring managers when it comes to adding newbies to the workforce this year. Among all survey respondents, only 58% expect to hire recent college grads in general this year. Last year, 79% of hiring managers overall expected to hire new college grads in 2007.

The 3,147 hiring managers and HR pros who responded to the survey included 168 IT hiring managers. Of the IT hiring managers, 34% expect to hire more recent college grads in 2008 compared to 2007.

As for pay, more than half of IT hiring managers (52%) expect no change in starting salaries compared to last year. However, 39% expect to offer higher starting salaries, and only 9% said they'll be offering lower pay.

The largest chunk (31%) of new grad IT hires will likely be paid between $30,000 and $40,000, according to the hiring managers. Twenty-eight percent of the managers expect to pay between $40,000 and $50,000, and 27% expect to pay more than $50,000 for starting salaries.

The top three factors that IT managers say are most influential in hiring recent college grads include a good fit with the company culture; experience; and the candidate comes in with ideas and asks good questions.

About a 1-in-4 IT hiring managers are also looking for a smarty-pants. Twenty-five percent say they require candidate have a GPA of 3.5 or above. Fifty-seven percent are looking for a GPA of 3.0 or above. However nearly four-in-ten--37%--say they have no minimum GPA requirement.

Overall, IT hiring managers are pickier about new college grad's grades than most other hiring managers in general. Only 11% of all hiring managers require a GPA of 3.5 or above. And the majority (62%) has no minimum GPA requirement.

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