New Reports on Job Prospects for the Class of 2023, those in the Academic Workforce

June 23, 2023

Now that they have received their degrees, many in the class of 2023 are preparing to enter the workforce. This year, there is some encouraging news from prospective employers to usher them in. Employers plan to hire (both full-time staff and interns) 3.9% more new college graduates this year than they did from the Class of 2022, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers’ (NACE) Job Outlook 2023 report. Those responding employers also said they prefer to hire new graduates with communication skills, more positive news for the NCA’s student members who have crossed the finished line or are nearing it.

As it regularly does, communication, including writing, again ranks high this year among the skills employers report they want job candidates, especially college students, to possess. The NACE Job Outlook 2023 survey was no different. Among the skills that at least half of the employers surveyed said they look for on resumes are written communication skills. Important still, employers revealed, is to demonstrate that you can communicate effectively, not just tell them—or be willing to learn.

“The key then is for students to not only develop these competencies, but also to be able to articulate how they use them in their classwork, experiential education, student organization activities, and more,” said Shawn VanDerziel, NACE executive director in a statement.



Reporting on the Academic Job Market in Communication

For those already in the academy and others preparing to enter the academic job market, the prospects also look bright, according to the NCA’s new 2021-22 Academic Job Listings Report. The annual report, which will be released this month, provides job seekers and employers with insight and a forecast for the Communication job market.

These are some highlights from the Association’s upcoming jobs report:

  • The number of professional positions advertised for Communication Ph.D.s increased for a second year in a row in 2021-22, despite the COVID-19 pandemic and continued declines in higher education enrollment. At the same time, the number of Communication doctorates declined by 14.5% from the 2020-21 to 2021-22 academic year after increasing by 9.2% the year before.
  • The largest specified category for academic teaching jobs was strategic communication/public relations/advertising.
  • For the first time, the NCA’s academic job market reporting includes Minority-serving Institutions and Historically Black Colleges and Universities, which advertised 89 different Communication opportunities.

Finding Career, Job Resources Across NCA

For our new graduates and student members, remember that the NCA has a variety of resources that can give you a hand up with your job and internship search and help you navigate your next career move. Get started with a free subscription to COMMNotes, the NCA’s free email blasts, then head over to the NCA Career Center, an online destination for a range of data, materials, and advice about the contemporary academic job market, including how to craft a resume that can help you land an interview.

And if you missed the popular series of live Prep Talks offered during the 2022 NCA Annual Convention in New Orleans, you can view them on demand on the NCA YouTube channel. Tune in to gather the same great advice and tips from these three Prep Talk presenters and NCA members:

  • Entering the job market can be daunting, especially for newcomers. That’s why Kerry Byrnes-Loinette, Ph.D., Collin College, in her Prep Talk, “Where is My Place? Tips for Navigating the Job Market,” tackles the basics, like how to read a job description. She offers ways to make the job search experience manageable—and even enjoyable.
  • Drawing on her roles—faculty, a search committee member, department chair, and an advisor for graduate students entering the academy—Dawn O. Braithwaite, Ph.D., University of Nebraska-Lincoln, shares strategies needed to understand and successfully negotiate a new Communication faculty job offer in her Prep Talk: “Navigating the Faculty Position Offer Process.”
  • While often dreaded, the interview is key to the job search process. In her Prep Talk, Joan Faber McAlister, Ph.D., Drake University, readies job seekers in “Navigating Difficult Interviews.” She addresses those interviews that ask illegal questions, talks workplace ethics, draws on actual experiences, and more.

B. Denise Hawkins, M.A., NCA Director of Communications and Public Engagement