Dissecting the College Class of 2022

  By Frank Burtnett  |    Wednesday June 9, 2022

Category: Columns, Expert Advice


EMInfo Reader: The young adults donning caps and gowns at America’s colleges and universities this year have earned their degrees during the most challenging of times. What kind of characteristics and mindset are they bringing to the workplace as they make the college to career transition?

Dr. Burtnett: I just had the opportunity to review an interesting report from the Pew Research Center that produced a facts report that search and staffing professionals need to consider as they interface with these new graduates. Pew has taken the pulse of the Class of 2022 and posted their findings in a special report.

I’ll summarize a number of “takeaways” here for quick reading, but encourage readers to examine the full report at:



  1. Continuing a recent trend, women outnumber men in college enrollment and in degrees conferred.
  2. College costs and the fear of student debt are the reasons many students aren’t applying and enrolling in college.
  3. The percentage of Americans with college degrees is becoming more diverse as college attainment is growing across all races and ethnicities.
  4. A significant number of graduates have found that it has taken them longer to earn their degrees.
  5. Business and health are the two most popular study areas among recent graduates.
  6. Current graduates continue to see the value in the collegiate learning experience.


Facing the challenges of the global economy and keeping pace with an ever increasing technologically driven environment, this group of students had to also address the coronavirus pandemic and the “new normal” that was forced on their personal, emotional, social and cognitive development. To say their college experience was unique would be an understatement.

They are now ready for the workplace! Take good care of them. 

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