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'We’re very optimistic on the job outlook' for college grads: Biz school dean

·Writer
·2 min read

There is some newfound optimism surrounding the employment prospects of recent college graduates. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, companies are projected to hire about 7% more new college graduates from the class of ’21 than they did from the class of ’20. Frank Hodge, dean of the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business, joined Yahoo Finance Live to talk about what new grads can expect from the job market.

“We’re very optimistic on the job outlook. We were very concerned a year ago as we entered the job market and for good reason, but this year, our job postings are approaching the level they were in 2019, both at the graduate level and at the undergraduate level. So, [we're] very optimistic given the economy and what we expect in the next year,” he said.

A University of Texas Rio Grande Valley graduate wears a decorated cap and face mask during the school's commencement ceremony Friday, May 7, 2021, in Edinburg, Texas. Graduations were being held outside for the first time in the school's history due to the ongoing COVID- 19 protocols. (Delcia Lopez/The Monitor via AP)
A University of Texas Rio Grande Valley graduate wears a decorated cap and face mask during the school's commencement ceremony Friday, May 7, 2021, in Edinburg, Texas. Graduations were being held outside for the first time in the school's history due to the ongoing COVID- 19 protocols. (Delcia Lopez/The Monitor via AP)

The school's recent State of the Economy Forum stressed that economic recovery will only follow public health recovery, and that there's been increased interest in the public health sector in the community.

“We have a very strong public health sector in the Seattle area, and the University of Washington Medical School is one of the global leaders in that space, so we’re, we’re optimistic,” he said.

Hodge said the university itself will not go back to business as usual in the post-pandemic world, however.

“We have something we strive to be at the Foster School, and that is to be better tomorrow than we are today. So what we’re doing is saying, 'Look — what did we learn from the last year that would allow us to do what we used to do, but to do it better going forward,'” he said.

“I think we will have some classes that will be in hybrid mode. In other words, you’ll be in the classroom sometimes and other times you’ll be remote and we’ll do that because we think it’s a better model. Not because it’s something that we have to do. We’re expected to be on campus and in-person next fall when we start and we’re looking forward to that. But we will not just go back to the way we were before. We’ll look to be better tomorrow than we are today.”

Reggie Wade is a writer for Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter at @ReggieWade.

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