Mary Brosnan, director of Molloy College’s Career Center, steered her offspring toward accountancy as they reached college age.
“My husband and I pressured them to become accounting majors,” she tells me. “That’s where it seemed the jobs would be.”
Her three sons graduated in 2014 and this year. One is an accountant and her daughter, last in the nest, graduates next year. She’s already switched majors to sociology.
The major-changing experience has expanded Brosnan’s view. She realizes now you don’t have to be an accountant to get hired on Long Island. In recent years, healthcare has become the Island’s biggest and fastest-growing sector. At the same time, employers are less fixated on applicants’ areas of study and more focused on how they rate in soft skills such as leadership capacity, ability to work in small groups, and aptitude for solving problems.
The exception to this pattern: nursing.
“At Molloy, half of our students are nursing majors,” Brosnan continues. “There are more nursing jobs than there are graduates. I wish my daughter were a nurse,” she says with a laugh.
Northwell Health, she adds, “is probably the leading recruiter on Long Island right now.”
Change “probably” to “is” and you appreciate the Class of ’18’s employment prospects. A decade’s worth of healthcare expansion and population aging has reshaped the job market. Healthcare is now the source of fastest job growth for many non-healthcare occupations.
Healthcare and the related field of social assistance paced regional job growth in April, adding 3,300 new positions, a record for the month. Conversations with healthcare employers, career counselors, and new grads point to that trend continuing.
Northwell alone hires about 145 people on a typical week, including about 20 new grads, according to Judy Howard, the system’s vice president of talent acquisition.
Degreed positions in greatest demand are specialty nurses for assignment in neonatal, critical care, perioperative, dialysis and anesthesia. Also in high demand are physician assistants, lab technologists, pharmacists and engineers.
Northwell is also recruiting people with associate degrees as surgical techs and EEG technicians, Howard says.
These jobs pay. Northwell would not discuss salaries, but online compensation sites say Northwell pays nurses on average nearly $87,000 per year. In comparison, the average Long Island salary runs about $54,300, says PayScale.com.
Career counselors at Hofstra, Adelphi and Stony Brook also named Northwell as a major talent recruiter. Tom Ward, who heads Adelphi’s career center, listed NYU Winthrop Hospital and Catholic Health Services of Long Island as additional major recruiters. Andrea Lipack, associate director of employer relations at Stony Brook, listed NYU Langone Health and Memorial Sloan Kettering as major hirers along with Northwell. Every June, LI produces a flood of newly minted accountants, many of them eyeing careers with top accounting firms. That’s still the case, although healthcare now absorbs many of them as well.
“We talk to our students and say, ‘Look at healthcare, even if you’re an accounting student,” Michelle Kyriakides, executive director of Hofstra’s career center, tells me. “We see most positions are posted in healthcare, as well as high tech, advertising and marketing services, and nonprofit.”
A TALE OF 2 MBAS
Danielle Catuli and Joe Lucito both graduated from Adelphi University in May as new MBAs. They are among the minority of students who’ve accepted pregraduation employment offers.
Danielle interned for three summers for Acxiom, a marketing database company in Manhattan. She also played shortstop on her school’s Division II team, which reached the World Series two years running. Both activities interested the IBM recruitment team she met on campus.
Danielle starts work at IBM’s Consulting by Degrees program this summer. Salary: Around $70,000.
Joe Lucito earned an MBA with a concentration in finance, after completing an undergrad degree in accounting. He interned at the Manhattan offices of both Merrill Lynch and Marks Paneth, a mid-sized accounting firm. Marks Paneth extended Joe a job offer in its audit department this spring. Joe accepted and plans to start in July. Salary: around $60,000.
Warren Strugatch is a partner at Inflection Point Associates, a marketing, public relations and management consulting firm in Stony Brook. Online at InflectionPointAssoc.com