CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - A new study from Career Builder found two-of-every-three employers plan to hire college graduates this year - the highest percentage since 2007.
In fact, one-third are planning to offer their hires more money this year.
That's especially true in fields like business, engineering, and math. That's why Cape Girardeau leaders are making sure they stay don't leave after graduation.
While there's already a plan in place to keep Southeast graduates, and their talents, in Cape Girardeau, students said they have mixed feelings about sticking around after getting that diploma.
Student Ashley Long said only certain situations would keep her living in Cape Girardeau.
"Yeah, if I didn't go to graduate school somewhere else," Long said.
Student Tony Rushing said it's a no-brainer.
"I'm actually going to try to stay in Cape Girardeau," Rushing said. "I've done a lot of networking here, I got a lot of job offers/opportunities and I feel like I have made my basis here as a whole."
However, with most Southeast students coming from St. Louis, many choose to go back to the big city after graduation.
Shad Burner with the Chamber of Commerce said that must change.
"The talent that's coming out of Southeast will have a huge benefit to our community in the future," Burner said.
Burner said they want to help students understand the benefits of starting in a small town.
"We brought young professionals in the community to sit down and talk directly one-on-one with students about what it means to start their career and their options here in Cape Girardeau," he said.
Rushing said he believes starting in Cape Girardeau would be a great first step in his career.
"Instead of entry level jobs, I've found actual jobs," Rushing said. "Also having managerial experience, I can start as a manger here in Cape Girardeau and I can't do that anywhere in St. Louis right now. Too many people, and the competition, too much of a big city for me."