WINSTON-SALEM, NC -- More than 1,800 Wake Forest University students are walking across the Hearn Plaza stage Monday into both the "real world" and most promising job market in nearly a decade.

Career Builder researchers surveyed 2,100 hiring managers and human resource professionals. Sixty seven percent of employers said they plan to hire recent college graduates this year, up two percent from last year. Half of those employers said they plan to offer higher pay.

Wake Forest University employer relations director and alumnus Mike Summers said newly-minuted graduates are standing out with leadership, team building and communications skills. He said he tries to help students understand the importance of making a connection with a prospective employer.

"It's not just about filling out an application. Storytelling is key," he said.

Summers doesn't yet have an exact count of how many new graduates have accepted jobs. But, he said a majority do have jobs or are close to finalizing them. Others are pursuing higher degrees of education.

Wake Forest University's 2016 commencement began at 9 a.m. This year's commencement speaker is Eboo Patel, the founder and president of the Interfaith Youth Core.

WFMY News 2 extends a special congratulations to all new graduates of Triad-area universities and community colleges. Share your pictures! E-mail them to or Tweet to @WFMY using the hash tag #GraduationOn2.

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