Sunday, November 20, 2011

Will Students in the Class of 2012 Find Employment After Graduation?

Dr. David Krause, AIM program director at Marquette University said, "The job market for college graduates in the U.S. remains very fragile. Many seniors are concerned about whether they will have a job ready for them when they graduate from college in May 2012. Obviously, students who selected a major that is more marketable are likely to have a better chance of landing a job, but there are other skills that students must possess."

The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce used U.S. Census Bureau statistics to tease out the employment rates for 173 college majors. The following represent the majors with the highest and lowest unemployment rates. (Note: finance majors ranked 18th with the lowest unemployment rates at 4.5%).

College majors with the highest unemployment
1. Clinical psychology 19.5%
2. Miscellaneous fine arts 16.2%
3. United States history 15.1%
4. Library science 15.0%
5. (tie) Military technologies; educational psychology 10.9%
6. Architecture 10.6%
7. Industrial & organizational psychology 10.4%
8. Miscellaneous psychology 10.3%
9. Linguistics & comparative literature 10.2%
10. (tie) Visual & performing arts; engineering & industrial management 9.2%

College majors with lowest unemployment rates
1. Medical technology technician 1.4%
2. Nursing 2.2%
3. Treatment therapy professions 2.6%
4. Medical assisting services 2.9%
5. Agriculture production & management 3.0%
6. Industrial production technologies 3.1%
7. Pharmacy 3.2%
8. Communications & disorders sciences 3.3%
9. Elementary education 3.6%
10. Special needs education 3.6%

Dr. Krause continued, "What can a student do to increase the odds of landing a job upon graduation in May 2012 – even if they won’t have one of the ‘in demand’ majors?" An employer survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers indicates that employers most value these three skills that you are usually more likely to find with a liberal arts education:

  • Communication skills
  • Analytic skills
  • Teamwork skills
Dr. David Krause, AIM program director added, “I would also add a fourth skill - critical thinking. I believe that employers want more than a 'plug and chug' approach to problem soling. They want graduates who can think on their feet. The bottom line for me is that graduating students need to possess and demonstrate to prospective employers the skills listed above - and be good critical thinkers. Can you communicate well? Do you have good math skills? And can you work well with others and be adaptive to changing situations? These in my mind are the key attributes to landing a job upon graduation.” 

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