The road to graduation hasn’t been an easy one for the class of 2022. Campus quarantines, Covid testing, and Zoom classes have largely defined their college experience. And while the past four years were difficult to navigate, the future looks promising for today’s students graduating amid a pandemic.

Today’s candidate-driven job market means that opportunities abound for new hires. And, what’s more, employers are making an investment in recent graduates.

The Wall Street Journal reports that 16 percent of employers surveyed in February and March said they’d double up on new graduate hires this year compared to 2021. Other studies echo that same sentiment. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, companies plan to hire at least 30 percent more new graduates this year than they did last year.

So how can employers step up to accommodate the “most in-demand college graduates” in years? By meeting their expectations. The newest members of the workforce want decent compensation, mentorship, workplace flexibility, cultural compatibility, and assurances about future work projects.

When it comes to compensation, 53 percent of new graduates entering the workforce reported that starting salaries surpassed their expectations. Some fields are proving to be more lucrative than others. In technology, finance, and consulting, it’s not uncommon to see starting salaries in the six figures.

And as much as Gen Zers champion flexible work schedules, they’re eager for face-to-face work and participating in office life.

So while the past few years were turbulent at best for this young generation, the professional world is offering a lot to be excited about for these new job seekers.

Ripe with opportunity and flexibility, the working world may promise to be even better than ‘the best four years of your life.’