Outlook for 2012 college grads looking brighter

David Ruth

HOUSTON – (May 2, 2012) – Nicole Van Den Heuvel, director of Rice University’s Center for Career Development, is available for news media interviews to discuss the outlook for this spring’s college graduates.

The U.S. Department of Education estimates that 1.75 million bachelor degrees will be conferred this year. With so many college students finishing their postsecondary education, Van Den Heuvel can also talk about the next steps college graduates can take.

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), of which Rice is a member:

  • Unemployment for college graduates is 4.2 percent, which is about half the national average.
  • Students who have used career services have obtained higher median salaries.
  • Employers will hire 10.2 percent more new college graduates than last year.
  • Degrees in demand are engineering, business, accounting, computer science and economics.
  • Nearly 40 percent of employers will be hiring candidates from all majors.
  • Only 8 percent of companies said they would not be hiring this year.
  • Internships are often important experience to potential employers.

Rice University will hold its 99th graduation May 12. Owls will hear a commencement address by Khan Academy founder Salman Khan, cross the stage to accept their diplomas, shake President David Leebron’s hand and then walk through Rice’s Sallyport at Lovett Hall. For more information on Rice’s commencement, go here.

The video is available on YouTube at http://youtu.be/LJzeLFVM1ms. For more information or to set up an interview, contact David Ruth, director of national media relations at Rice, at david@rice.edu or 713-348-6327.


 Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is known for its “unconventional wisdom.” With 3,708 undergraduates and 2,374 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice has been ranked No. 1 for best quality of life multiple times by the Princeton Review and No. 4 for “best value” among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to www.rice.edu/nationalmedia/Rice.pdf.

About David Ruth

David Ruth is director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.