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.