Ian Schmutte

Ian Schmutte

The Red & Black spoke with Terry professor Ian Schmutte about a Michigan State University study reporting a likely 16 percent increase over last year in the number of students who will be hired full-time after graduation. 

“I haven’t seen anything quite as specifically optimistic [as the Michigan State study] about this year relative to previous years,” said Schmutte, an assistant professor of economics. "I think in general the trajectory of the job market has been that it is improving, and in general those improvements have been for individuals who have a college education.”

“We have been in a lengthy recession, so I think we are just beginning to see several of the factors that led to large job loss during the recession beginning to reverse themselves,” he added. “Even though output and GDP have been improving for a while, it takes a while for businesses to start making new hiring decisions again.”

But while the economic climate might be improving for recent graduates, not all degrees are equal, Schmutte said.

"I think we are in the midst of a relatively steady recovery, especially for college graduates that have majored in fields that are in increasing demand such as healthcare, information technology and engineering,” he said. “The economy that we are creating for ourselves is one in which there is a return to being able to combine skills that are really difficult to automate with strong interpersonal skills.”

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