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For tens of thousands of Michigan students, it’s time to don caps and gowns and prepare for life after college.

Commencement season is here for the Class of 2016, and its freshly minted graduates head into a relatively strong job market, according to federal projections.

Employers expect to hire 5.2 percent more new college graduates over last year’s class, according to the spring report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers. On a less positive note, however, that projection is down from the 11 percent increase employers projected in November through NACE’s Job Outlook 2016 survey.


Daniel Hurley, CEO of the Michigan Association of State Universities, sees a bright future for the state’s new bachelor’s degree holders.Meanwhile, the average number of job postings from employers who responded to the survey for the 2015-16 recruiting year is 67, down from 148 in 2014-15. The number of applicants per posting remained roughly the same.

“All college graduates graduating this spring across Michigan will be positioned to apply their talent and interest to a calling that appeals to them,” Hurley said. “They’re now equipped with a higher level of talent that they can apply to a job or career that is of particular interest to them, and that matters a great deal in personal and occupational happiness.”

The most promising jobs for the Class of 2016? Personal financial and computer systems analyst, with median pay of $75,000 a year and growth projected of 20 percent or more, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Other bachelor-degree jobs with $75,000 salary and a 10-20 percent growth projection include accountants, market research analysts, medical and health services managers, registered nurses and software developers.

Besides looking forward to starting their careers, new graduates will receive plenty of wisdom during commencement ceremonies over the next week.

Students will hear parting words from speakers ranging from former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who will address University of Michigan graduates Saturday, to Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, who will be the keynote speaker at Michigan State University’s undergraduate commencement ceremonies Friday.

Hanna-Attisha, an assistant professor of pediatrics at MSU, is best known for an analysis of state data that showed elevated levels of lead in the blood of Flint children that helped break open the city’s water crisis. She hopes her story will touch graduates.

“My goal for the speech is to inspire graduates to stand up for unpopular causes, to be dissenters and to fight against injustices, great and small,” said Hanna-Attisha, director of the Pediatric Public Health Initiative at Hurley Children’s Hospital in Flint. “I will share my experience in Flint over the last eight months and draw out these lessons. I want to let the graduates know that critical thinkers step out of line. It is one thing we go to college to learn how to do.”

kkozlowski@detroitnews.com

Upcoming commencements

Following are selected undergraduate ceremonies for Michigan colleges and universities:

University of Michigan: 10 a.m. Saturday at Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor.

Wayne State University: 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Thursday at Ford Field, Detroit.

Michigan State University: 10 a.m. Friday at the Breslin Center, East Lansing.

Central Michigan University: 9 a.m. Saturday at McGuirk Arena, Mount Pleasant.

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