Recruitment or Employment Issues. Employed Chalk drawing. Changing unemployed to employed.

Among the Employed

According to a study at Georgetown University’s Center for Education and the Workforce (via Yahoo! Education), graduates of the following discipline areas were least likely to be unemployed: Nursing (unemployment rate: 4.8%), Elementary education (unemployment rate: 5%), Physical fitness and parks and recreation (unemployment rate: 5.2%), Chemistry (unemployment rate: 5.8%), Finance (unemployment rate: 5.9%), Mathematics (unemployment rate: 5.9%), Hospitality management (unemployment rate: 6%), Drama, theatre, and arts (unemployment rate: 6.4%), Family and consumer sciences (unemployment rate: 6.4%), and Marketing and marketing research (unemployment rate: 6.9%).

Rationale for higher employment rates in certain fields could be linked to national health care initiatives, technological innovations, social problems, or industry demands at large. At the same time, the need for more jobs or an increase in employment-related opportunities in a given field does not guarantee a paycheck for recent graduates.

It is also possible that the unemployment rates in these fields are related to the opportunities students in these disciplines have while they are in college. For example, in The Department of Human and Community Development at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, our undergraduate and graduate students have a variety of opportunities to work, volunteer, or conduct research with faculty in The Child Development Laboratory, The Autism Program, Child Care Resource Service, The Family Resiliency Center, and other on-campus resources. Thus, when they are in college, they do not have to search too far for ways that they can gain hands-on experiences and build their skills…and their resumes. In addition to being able to add these activities to their resumes, students are able to get to work one-on-one with professors through internships and practicums; as such, the professors writing reference letters for students know more about them and subsequently may write better reference letters on the students’ behalf. Further, having these skills may give these graduates the confidence they need to communicate effectively in interviews and while on the job.

It’s great to assess the job market across fields, but when forecasting your own employment, choose the major that is right for you, and get involved to increase your chances of making the employed list for 2014! 

The unemployment research discussed here was based on individuals who had completed a bachelor’s degree in the last few years. For more information on how the categories were grouped and details on the method used by the researchers, Anthony Carnevale and Ban Cheah, see the full report on Georgetown University’s CEW website.


About Jill Bowers

Jill is a certified family life educator (CFLE), certified family and consumer scientist (CFCS-HDFS), and a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Human and Community Development at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She developed the idea for this project when she was working on a research project where she interviewed emerging adults (18-20 year olds). Work and career related content was something about which the emerging adults were most interested in learning more, and many of the issues that were at the center of their daily concerns were those surrounding their career plans and navigating the job market. Although some of the emerging adults in the study were aware of the fact that they could find information on the Internet to answer their questions or that there were resources available through their college or University, most of them could not recall being required to participate in any professional development courses that helped them with career-related skills and most of them suffered from “information overload” related to their Internet searches for information that would help them with their career paths. For example, some of them had been told about the importance of networking (e.g., at Career Fairs), but they did not really understand what this was or how to do it. Therefore, as a result of her experiences working with emerging adults, Jill initiated this project to help FCS students by providing them with information that will help ensure their success as they navigate the job market.


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