05/24/2010 03:23 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Job Market For Grads Dismal, But Not As Bad As Last Year

A new survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers offers what could be construed as a glimmer of hope for recent college graduates: the job market is getting better -- or, at least, it's not as bad as last year.

The New York Times reports:

[The Association] found that 24.4 percent of 2010 college graduates who applied for a job have one waiting after graduation, up from 19.7 percent last year. But the average salary offered to graduates with a bachelor's degree has slipped 1.7 percent from last year, to $47,673. Salaries for finance majors rose 1.6 percent, to $50,546, while those for liberal arts majors fell 8.9 percent, to $33,540. For graduates with computer-related degrees, salary offers rose 5.8 percent, to $58,746.

Andrew Stern, a recent University of Pennsylvania graduate, told the Times that "things are looking up" and that most of his friends either had jobs or were going to graduate school. Stern himself got a position at Deloitte.

Despite his testimony, though, experts say that the market is still grim.

Andrew Sum, an economics professor at Northeastern University, said the job market was awful for this year's college grads and high school grads. Many college graduates are finding jobs that do not require bachelor's degrees, like retail clerk, office assistant or barista, he said. Using federal labor statistics, he has found that only 51 percent of college graduates under age 25 were working in jobs that require college educations, down from 59 percent in 2000.

To make matters worse, Sum said, students who strategically studied to obtain jobs in fields that are normally rife with opportunities -- like in teaching and nursing -- are finding that the openings in those areas are rare.

What do you think? If you're a recent college graduate, have you been able to find a job? Weigh in below or send your story to