Evidence shows that this is an excellent time to be a new college graduate. A recent survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) found that employers plan to hire 11 percent more graduates from the class of 2019 than those who graduated in 2018.

Except for wholesale trade, NACE data points to a boost in job opportunities across all industries. Most of these job offers are also coming with better pay. Graduates in science, technology, engineering and math are expected to earn the most, as demand for workers in these categories continues to grow. Engineering graduates rank at the top, with an average starting salary of $69,188. In 2018, graduates on average earned $51,022.

Graduates aren’t necessarily pursuing salaries above all other considerations. The occupation receiving the most interest from graduates is graphic designer, where the typical employee makes $48,700. However, for many graduates, this is balanced against student loan debt, which, according to the Institute for College Access & Success, averages $30,000 after graduation.

NACE has also examined what employees are looking for in new graduates, surveying the relative importance of eight competencies that NACE has identified as associated with career readiness. Its data points to critical thinking/problem solving, teamwork/collaboration, professionalism/work ethic and oral/written communications as the most essential competencies for college graduates entering the job market.