A new study from the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce implies that your degree choice can have a big impact on keeping a job. According to the findings, risk of unemployment for recent graduates varies considerably depending on their major.
You can check out the full report, Hard Times, College Majors, Unemployment and Earnings: Not All College Degrees Are Created Equal, but here are some of the takeaways we’ve gleaned from it:
- Specializing is great, but develop skills that can be applicable in a number of ways. Case in point: The highest unemployment rate in the study was for architecture graduates (13.9 percent), a direct reflection of the struggling real estate market, and there’s little work outside of that industry. On the other hand, those with financial or computer expertise can transfer those skills to work for most any corporation or organization.
- Now might be a good time to get that advanced degree you’ve been mulling over. The overall unemployment rate for people with graduate degrees is just 3 percent.
- Look for ties to strong industries. Recent graduates in Engineering, the Sciences, Education, or Healthcare are tied to stable or growing sectors, and therefore, offer opportunities with the most staying power (with just a 5.4% unemployment rate).
On the bright side, any degree is still better than not having one at all. Recent bachelor’s degree earners have an 8.9 percent unemployment rate, while job seekers with just a high school diploma are at 22.9 percent, and high school dropouts are at 31.5 percent.