Jan 7, 2012

College is still worth the Investment—For Some More than Others

The good news from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce is that despite some dismal unemployment figures for recent college graduates, a bachelor’s degree is still worth the investment.

Although the jobless rate for recent college grads stands at about 8.9 percent, unemployment among job seekers with no better than a high school diploma is almost 23 percent and registers an incredible 31.5 percent among high school dropouts.

But “not all degrees are created equal.” According to the Center, some majors offer substantially better employment prospects than others.

"People keep telling kids to study what they love--but some loves are worth more than others," Anthony P. Carnevale, the lead author of the report and the center's director, told The Washington Post.

In general, unemployment is higher among recent graduates outside of technical fields of study, such as the arts (11.1 percent) and humanities and liberal arts (9.4 percent). Graduates in health or education, however, both have much lower unemployment rates of 5.4 percent.

"If your major sounds like a job—engineering, for instance, sounds like you're going to be an engineer—you're going to be in better shape," Carnevale told The Chronicle of Higher Education.

But there are some big exceptions. Architecture majors are currently having serious problems finding jobs and fared the worst with unemployment at 13.9 percent, likely due to the decline of the construction and home-building industries during the recession.

And although computer specialists who design software and applications are getting jobs (6 percent unemployment), information specialists using the technology aren’t (11.7 percent).

Also subgroups within majors vary enormously in terms of unemployment. While business majors (7 percent) are doing well, accountants (6.8 percent) are doing even better.Link But those business majors in hospitality management (9.1 percent) appear to be having a hard time, probably because of the decline in travel and tourism.

The study also looked at the value of various majors over time. Not surprisingly the wages of workers with degrees in engineering, computer science, or business were as much as 50 percent higher than for those who majored in the arts, humanities, education, and psychology.

And the report confirmed that the more education you have, the better your job prospects may be. Only 3 percent of graduate degree holders are unemployed. With the exception of arts and education, workers with graduate degrees average between $60,000 and $100,000 per year, as compared to a range of $48,000 and $62,000 for workers with bachelor’s degrees.

No comments:

Post a Comment