If you’ve been following the news at all, you know that things are not looking great for recent college graduates. In fact, according to one study I saw recently more than half of those who graduated from college in the past year are either unemployed or are working in jobs that are not related to their fields of study. Some experts have even concluded that there’s really no point in getting a four-year degree in the liberal arts as the only way that a person can expect to get a job is if they major in some area of science, engineering or healthcare.
The bight lights
Inc.’s website recently had an article on which cities were hiring the most college graduates. San Jose was number one as it showed the highest demand for college grads with 56% of the city’s employment ads looking for people with a bachelor’s degree or higher.
Following San Jose was San Francisco, Washington, DC and Bridgeport, Ct. Forty-nine percent of the job openings in these cities were for people with bachelors degrees or higher. You probably won’t be surprised either by the fact that most of these openings were in computer-related work. As an example of this, in January and February of this year, San Francisco had 41,822 jobs openings 32,699 of which were computer related. As one person explained, the big electronics companies are there and they tend to look for workers with engineering training, software skills, and math and physics type training.
Other high demand fields
Other fields showing high demand–beyond computer operations–included engineering, healthcare, business operations, media and finance.
The least popular
If majors such as engineering, computer operations and healthcare can be good springboards to jobs, you might ask what are the least popular. One study reported that only about 16% of employers wanted to hire people who had majored in social science or history, making these majors high on the list of undesirables.
This might be the biggest mismatch of all. Education is number four in popularity for a major but all levels of government are making budget cuts in this area and these are expected to shrink the demand for teachers and administrators over the next few years. In fact, according to a hiring study done recently by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) education is the major least sought by employers.
In terms of what employers are looking for in a major, this one isn’t even on the list. Its job growth over the next five years is expected to be just 3.6%, which is much less than the average.
Visual and performing arts
While 5% of college grads might have a major in visual and performing arts, jobs in this field are for less than 1% of the overall labor force. Do the math on this and you can’t help but conclude that spending $30,000 or $40,000 on a major in this field might not be a good investment.
Physical sciences and biological sciences
On a more positive note, both of these majors can lead to jobs fairly quickly. Only 5% of grads have majored in biological sciences as it is a very demanding major but jobs in this area are projected to grow 14% over the next five years. In terms of new hires, a major in physical sciences ranks in about the middle of the list of what employers are looking for in new hires, yet only a small number of students major in this area. These are the smart ones when it comes time to find a job.
Student loan debt
I’ve read that it’s not uncommon for people to graduate from college owing $30,000 or more in student loan debt. Unfortunately, there is essentially no way to get rid of these debts. Not even a chapter 7 bankruptcy will discharge student loan debts. But if you have a mountain of unsecured debts such as credit card debt, we can help. Our debt counselors can work with your creditors to have your debts reduced as much as possible and get you on the road to becoming debt-free. Call our toll-free number for immediate help or fill in the form you’ll find on the right side of this page for a free estimate.