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Study Analyzes Recent Grads' Unemployment By Major 314

Posted by Soulskill
from the underwater-basket-weaving-still-going-strong dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "A new report from the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce called 'Hard Times: College Majors, Unemployment and Earnings: Not All College Degrees Are Created Equal' analyzes unemployment by major. It shows that not enough students — and their families who are also taking on student loans — are asking what their college major is worth in the workforce. 'Too many students aren't sure what job they could get after four, five or even six years of studying a certain major and racking up education loans,' writes Singletary. 'Many aren't getting on-the-job training while they are in school or during their semester or summer breaks. As a result, questions about employment opportunities or what type of job they have the skills to attain are met with blank stares or the typical, "I don't know."' The reports found that the unemployment rate for recent graduates is highest in architecture (13.9 percent) because of the collapse of the construction and home-building industry and not surprisingly, unemployment rates are generally higher in non-technical majors (PDF), such as the arts (11.1 percent), humanities and liberal arts (9.4 percent), social science (8.9 percent) and law and public policy (8.1 percent)."
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Study Analyzes Recent Grads' Unemployment By Major

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  • by CSMoran (1577071) on Saturday January 21, 2012 @12:19PM (#38774340) Journal
    Learning is only free in that you might not have to pay for it, but there are opportunity costs -- the value of what you could've done, but did not do because you were learning.
  • by Lumpy (12016) on Saturday January 21, 2012 @12:22PM (#38774360) Homepage

    I did the exact same thing and went to the University of Michigan. You can go full time and work full time. A lot of young adults that dont have mommy or daddy pay their way do it every day. I had ZERO social life in school as I was either working,studying, or attending class or lab. My only friends that I spent any time with were room mates, once a week I would have about an hour to sit down and have a beer or two before bed.

  • by Shining Celebi (853093) on Saturday January 21, 2012 @12:28PM (#38774394) Homepage

    Unfortunately, to do what you were able to do cannot be done in 2012. It would take someone many years to do and if they're going for a techical degree where credits are only good for 5 years, you wouldn't be able to do it by working your through college - as soon as you had enough for tuition, you'd be retaking Chemistry, physics, and any other engineering class.

    Uh. I worked through college and paid for it in cold hard cash, without a penny from loans or my parents, and I graduated last December. With my Master's. I graduated only a semester "late" because my advisor didn't want me to take 18 hours my senior undergrad year, so it took me altogether six years, but I came out with a 4.0.

    So yes, it is quite possible, I did it. That's not to say that there isn't a problem with the cost of college tuition, and that I didn't do my fair share of grumbling about the tuition/fee increases that came nearly every year I was there (including an extra $250 a semester because my school decided it needed a football team and an extra $700 a semester when mean plans were suddenly made mandatory to pay for a new dining hall), but it's an overbroad generalization to say "nobody can pay for college without rich parents or student loans." Yes, you can. You can even do it on minimum wage, if you're willing to work overtime and save up before you get there.

    The cost of college is a problem, and it's only going to get worse, but let's not exaggerate.

  • The sorted list (Score:5, Informative)

    by Beeftopia (1846720) on Saturday January 21, 2012 @12:47PM (#38774522)

    Journalism has a lower unemployment rate than engineering? Wow.

    1) Sorted by Unemployment rate, lowest to highest:

    Major -- Unemployment Rate -- Starting Salary
    Education -- 5.4 -- 33000
    Health -- 5.4 -- 43000
    Agricultural and Nat. Res -- 7 -- 32000
    Comm. and Journalism -- 7.3 -- 33000
    Business -- 7.4 -- 39000
    Engineering -- 7.5 -- 55000
    Science - life/physical -- 7.7 -- 32000
    Law and Public Policy -- 8.1 -- 34000
    Computers and Math. -- 8.2 -- 46000
    Recreation -- 8.3 -- 30000
    Social Science -- 8.9 -- 37000
    Humanities and Liberal Arts -- 9.4 -- 31000>
    Arts -- 11.1 -- 30000

    2) Sorted by starting salary, lowest to highest:

    Major -- Unemployment Rate -- Starting Salary
    Recreation -- 8.3 -- 30000
    Arts -- 11.1 -- 30000
    Humanities and Liberal Arts -- 9.4 -- 31000
    Agricultural and Nat. Res -- 7 -- 32000
    Science - life/physical -- 7.7 -- 32000
    Education -- 5.4 -- 33000
    Comm. And Journalism -- 7.3 -- 33000
    Law and Public Policy -- 8.1 -- 34000
    Social Science -- 8.9 -- 37000
    Business -- 7.4 -- 39000
    Health -- 5.4 -- 43000
    Computers and Math. -- 8.2 -- 46000
    Engineering -- 7.5 -- 55000

  • by houstonbofh (602064) on Saturday January 21, 2012 @01:34PM (#38774924)
    Not really. Look at MikeRoweworks.com for a counterpoint. There are many people making very good money in jobs needing only apprenticeship or a associate degree. Unemployment in many skilled blue collar jobs is very low. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qo-cUZ2aRKc [youtube.com] I can't say it better than this...
  • by supercrisp (936036) on Saturday January 21, 2012 @02:27PM (#38775338)
    An old story. You can read similar concerns in William James' "The PhD Octopus," and there's a good historical overview of this issue in US academic in Chad Hanson's _The Community College and Good Society_. Also there have been recent debates between people like Charles Murray (American Interprise Institute) and Christopher Caldwell (in the NYT). The one thing I think often goes missing in these debates is how effective a college education is, in the humanities or the sciences, in allowing people to climb up a social class or two.
  • WashPo owns Kaplan (Score:4, Informative)

    by wdavies (163941) on Saturday January 21, 2012 @02:43PM (#38775448) Homepage

    Why is there no warning about conflict of interest here? Everytime the Washington Post opens its mouth about Higher Education Policy of any kind, it should be known that they are owners of the $2.3 billion business Kaplan, a major profiteerer in the War on Poor Students...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Washington_Post_Company [wikipedia.org]

  • Re:No, you can't (Score:1, Informative)

    by musth (901919) on Saturday January 21, 2012 @04:35PM (#38776113)

    On the other hand, a lot of college kids are just lazy middle-classers (as distinguished from the much larger working class which you're talking about) too willing to go the loan route because a) that means they can put off thinking about it and b) they want the college "experience" and working doesn't fit into their vision of that.

    You worked full-time and had high course loads simultaneously. That's the opposite of what's recommended by people in the know - college advisors, educators, etc. - for good performance and learning. My CS advisor recommends not taking more than 12 hours per quarter and 2 CS courses simultaneously.

    The "college experience" I want is to learn, which means having plenty of time to digest ideas, and to practice using them. Reflection and quiet time are important aspects of learning and human existence, and those are both impossible in rush Rush RUSH get-to-the-job-get-back-to-campus lifestyles where every day is scheduling stress, and studying is just another thing student/work drones try to fit in.

    The sad fact of life in the US in the 2010s now is that we are all being trained to be obedient and uncomplaining workers, and even to adjust our values so that we see overwork and stress as badges of honor, things we use as standards to hold ourselves up and look down on other people.

    The solution is to not buy into this crap, to not play the owners' game of being pliant drones. Fight.

"A mind is a terrible thing to have leaking out your ears." -- The League of Sadistic Telepaths

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