Does this situation sound familiar?
It’s September. You’re a liberal arts or science major (let’s say, history or physics), and your roommate, who’s majoring in finance, has been applying to jobs and internships on EagleLink left and right and has been in-and-out of the Career Center for info sessions and interviews. You ask yourself: What gives? Where are the opportunities that I’m interested in? Why isn’t there anything for me?
It’s understandable that it can be frustrating to see others secure an internship, or a job, so early in the school year. But, truth be told, just because your roommate is interviewing for finance positions in September doesn’t mean that there aren’t opportunities that align with your career interests. Each industry that recruits Boston College students follows unique recruiting cycles and hiring timelines. Generally, organizations that know their hiring needs early on will begin their recruiting season earlier—such as the fall semester—while others may conduct “just-in-time” hiring strategies and post positions and recruit as positions become vacant. So, there’s a reason why in September you don’t see as many postings for positions in public service as you do for investment banking: they’re different industries, which abide by different timelines.
Below is an overview of recruiting and hiring timelines for each career cluster. Check out the first destination data for the class of 2018 for a detailed look at when recent alumni received their offers.
- Business, Consulting, and Finance: The large majority of recruiting and hiring for industries in this cluster occurs in the fall semester, as well as in the summer immediately preceding the fall. This varies across individual industries. Over 75% of the class of 2018 who went into accounting reported receiving their offers prior to the beginning of their senior year, while the consulting, finance, and investment banking so noticeably more hiring, and on-campus recruiting, in the fall semester.
- Communication, Arts, and Media: Whether it’s advertising, entertainment, journalism, or communications, recruiting and hiring for this cluster is focused on the spring semester and summer after your senior year.
- Education, Nonprofit, and Social Service: This is cluster covers a wide range of industries, but, overall, the picture is the same: recruiting and hiring is focused during the spring semester, with a fair amount of offers also received in the summer following senior year. In particular, well over 50% of the hiring for education positions occurs in the spring semester and ensuing summer.
- Government, Law, and Public Policy: The large majority of hiring for positions in government (federal, state, and local), law and legal services, and public policy takes place in the spring. However, the federal government requires special attention: while hiring tends to happen in the spring, the recruiting process begins much earlier—oftentimes in the summer or fall of the preceding year—because security clearances are very time-consuming.
- Healthcare and Nursing: First-destination data confirms that much of the hiring for this cluster occurs in the spring, but there are important recruiting opportunities that will happen in the fall semester, including the STEM and Healthcare Job and Internship Fair on October 3 and the Nursing Career Kickoff on October 8.
- Science, Technology, and Engineering: The class of 2018’s first destination data reveals a substantial minority of offers for tech position received in the fall semester of senior, but, overall, the majority of hiring for positions in scientific research, engineering, and tech took place in the spring semester.
Here’s a helpful visual guide:
So, what does this all mean? For starters, it means that you shouldn’t be discouraged when it seems like every industry except the one you’re interested in is hiring. But, more importantly, it also means that, by gaining an understanding when certain industries recruit and hire, you can better tailor your own job and internship search. After all, landing an offer takes several months of preparation, planning, and searching. If you’re interested in an industry that recruits and hires in the springtime, you may consider, for instance, attending the spring career fair.
—By Sal Cipriano, Assistant Director, Career Education