SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - College seniors are just a few weeks away from those last final exams before graduation, but then the real test comes: putting their degrees to good use and securing a job.
Student Melissa Horsler of Springfield is among those about to go off into the workforce.
"Currently I'm in the medical assisting program. I'll be finishing up in a couple weeks. I've always wanted to be in the medical field, but I also knew that there's always going to be a need to take care of people," Horsler said.
The good news for Horsler and others is that the class of 2013 could have better luck finding a job than their friends and classmates who graduated before them. A new survey of hiring managers and HR professionals shows that more than half of them plan to hire new grads this year.
One grad-to-be told 22News that some students make the mistake of selecting a major based solely on their interests, instead of also considering a field that's easy to break into.
"It's not really demanded. You have to find a demand that you like. Every job is up and down right now, but construction always seems to stay kind of steady," said James Charles of South Hadley.
The surveyed employers are looking to fill positions in information technology, customer service, finance, and accounting, with starting salaries between $30-50,000 dollars per year.
"Some of my friends are looking to get degrees in programs that I have no idea what they're going to do with it. I just really like working with computers. I chose it based on that and I happened to choose a field that is popular," said Daniel Houle of Agawam.
Regardless of the field or the degree, most students know it's still going to take some work to land that first job.
"If you try hard enough and you are skilled enough, you will find a job," Charles said.