Will Your Shiny New Degree Get You a Job?

Will Your Shiny New Degree Get You a Job?

The dust hasn’t even had time to settle on your mortarboard, and you’re looking for your first real job. But, as you may have guessed, not all degrees are created equal. Now that you have graduated, just what will your degree get you in the real world?

First, the good news: just having a degree is going to greatly help you in staying out of the unemployment line. In 2014, the unemployment rate for someone with a high school diploma or some college credit without a degree was 6%. With a bachelor’s degree that number drops to 3.5%.

Now for the bad news: some majors are in higher demand than others.

Healthcare is set to outpace all other occupations in overall growth. Between 2012 and 2022, healthcare practitioners and technical occupations are projected to increase by 21.5%. This category includes registered nurses and physical therapists.

Computer and mathematical occupations are also projected to have a steady growth of 18% between 2012 and 2022. Jobs such as actuaries, programmers, system administrators and mathematicians are included in this category.

Those graduating with bachelor degrees in psychology and the social sciences face some of the largest unemployment rates. In 2009, one year after earning their bachelor’s degree, graduates in these areas saw unemployment rates of around 12%. The good news for these graduates is the future is looking brighter.

Community and social services employment, which includes social workers, drug and alcohol counselors and family therapists, is predicted to increase 17% between 2012 and 2022. This puts the growth rate just slightly below that of computer and mathematical occupations.

The increase in community and social services employment is not just limited to the United States. Countries with socialized healthcare such as England, Canada and New Zealand are already seeing increases in this occupation as people continue to live longer with each generation.

You might be surprised to learn that some of the largest growing areas don’t require a college degree. Construction and extraction occupations are projected to increase 21% between 2012 and 2022. Most of the jobs in this category can be learned through apprenticeship or vocational school. If you have the back to be a tile setter or a floor layer, the future will hold many opportunities.

All in all, if you’re graduating this semester, you’ve done the first thing right: you’ve finished. Hopefully, you’ve followed your passion the past few years, so that the famous quote by Confucius, “You will never have to work a day in your life,” will come true.

(All statistics for this article were provided by the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics.)

[author image=”http://echo.snu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/IMG_6202.jpg”] David Peterson, Staff Contributor
David is a self-proclaimed movie snob and social vagabond of the obscure. In his spare time he enjoys referencing books that no one has read and watching movies that no one understands. It is rumored that his beard once poured sugar into the gas tank of Chuck Norris’s car.[/author]