2016 college graduates entering an improving job market

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DE PERE, Wis. (WBAY) – Elizabeth Heckenlaible doesn’t have to stress after graduating from St. Norbert College Saturday.

With degrees in mathematics and economics, Elizabeth, who need only three years to graduate, already has a job lined up.

“I have a position with Oshkosh Corporation,” she says. “I’ll be doing data analysis.”

Heckenlaible is one of many in her graduating class leaving school with a job this year.

462 graduates crossed the stage at Saturday’s commencement – held outdoors for the first time since 1977.

Experts say those graduating with degrees in fields like information technology, accounting, and nursing are in good shape.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers says that employers are hiring 11 percent more new graduates in 2016 than 2015.

“It’s a good time to graduate,” says Kevin Quinn, Dean of St. Norbert’s Schneider School of Business and Economics.

“Five years ago it was very, very difficult to get a job for a graduate, mostly because there were pools of highly experienced people that were unemployed,” says Quinn.

He says millennials are in good shape as baby boomers are retiring and employers are picking up new graduates to replace them.

“This is the best year for college graduates in about ten years,” says Quinn.

“They’ve been heavily recruited, in fact some of our graduates have had jobs as far back as December,” he says.

Alleviating stress for students and parents like Heckenlaible’s mother, Angie Sutter.

“When she found out that she had a place to go and a job and she could focus on something, that took a lot of the stress away,” said Sutter.

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