Top 3 College Degrees With Highest, Lowest Unemployment
Earlier this month, we presented four ways the country's dwindling unemployment rate could affect future students in online degree programs by the year 2017.
For now, however, the unemployment rate remains at a higher-than-desired 8.2%. Many experienced workers who have not completed their education are turning to a college degree in order to thrive in a competitive job market.
Choosing a degree that lands you in a prosperous field with available opportunities is an important part of the complex decision-making process (for more on choosing the right online college, check out Grantham University's eBook on finding the right fit).
So which degrees have the best (and, for that matter, worst) chance of landing you in a new job? I came across an interesting January 2012 study by Georgetown University entitled "Hard Times" to help answer that question.
Here are the top three college degrees with the highest and lowest unemployment rate, according to the study.
The data from the lists below came from the Georgetown study's 'experienced college graduates (age 30-54)' category in an effort to identify with students in online degree programs. I only analyzed common degrees for the purpose of this blog, and didn't get too much into specialized areas.
HIGHEST UNEMPLOYMENT RATES
1. Architecture: 9.2%
The study cited the collapse of the construction and home-building industry during the recession as the primary reason for the high unemployment rate.
2. Humanities/Liberal Arts: 6.1%
Unemployment rates were generally higher in non-technical areas, such as humanities and liberal arts, where students fall into a broad range of potential careers.
3. Journalism/Communications: 6.0%
Newspapers and media companies have experienced a dramatic number of cutbacks with the advancement of modern, interactive websites and social media.
LOWEST UNEMPLOYMENT RATES
1. Health/Nursing: 2.2%
Nursing is one of the fastest-growing professions because of the country's demand for health care. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the number of registered nurses is expected to grow to 3.2 million by 2018, accounting for 581,500 new jobs.
2. Education: 3.9%
The study cited education as having a low unemployment rate because of the industry's targeted career paths. "More than three out of four people who major in education work in the education industry, while no more than 20 percent of liberal arts graduates are concentrated in any single industry," the study said.
3. Criminal Justice/Law and Public Policy: 4.5%
Careers in local, state or federal law enforcement are still in demand, and are very common for former members of the military looking to make a military-to-civilian transition.
About the author: Eric Sorrentino joined Grantham University as Social Media Manager in October 2011. Prior to that, he blogged about the Big 12 Conference for KUsports.com and was a sports copy editor for the Lawrence Journal-World. Eric received his Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism from the University of Kansas.