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Hard times 2013


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In the past, a college degree all but assured job seekers employment and high earnings, but today, what you make depends on what you take. In Hard Times 2013, we show differences in unemployment and earnings based on major for BA and graduate degree holders. We show that STEM — Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics — majors typically offer the best opportunities for employment and earnings, while unemployment is higher for graduates with non-technical degrees.

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Hard times 2013

  1. 1. Hard Times: College Majors, Unemployment and Earnings Anthony P. Carnevale and Ban Cheah May 29, 2013
  2. 2. Overview •  It pays to have a college degree, but not all degrees lead to the same earnings and employment levels. •  College graduates with work experience have a better chance of finding employment. •  Non-technical majors tend to have higher rates of unemployment.
  3. 3. Unemployment •  Overall unemployment rates for college graduates in 2010 with work experience hover around 4.6 to 4.7 percent. •  The overall unemployment rate for recent college graduates in 2010 is higher at 7.9 percent.
  4. 4. Lowest Unemployment by Major •  Unemployment rates decrease as graduates gain experience. •  The majors with the lowest unemployment are: – Nursing 4.8% – Elementary Education 5% – Physical Fitness, Parks & Recreation 5.2% – Chemistry 5.8% – Finance 5.9%
  5. 5. Highest Unemployment by Major •  The majors with the highest unemployment rate are: – Political Science 11.1% – Film, Video & Photography Arts 11.4% – Anthropology 12.6% – Architecture 12.8% – Information Systems 14.7%
  6. 6. Earnings •  Earnings increase in all majors as graduates gain experience.
  7. 7. Highest Paying Majors •  Median earnings among recent college graduates range from $54,000 for engineering majors to $30,000 for arts, psychology and social work, and life and physical sciences. •  The highest paying majors continue to be in engineering.
  8. 8. Stable and Growing Occupations •  Recent college graduates in engineering can expect comparatively low unemployment rates, from around 7.0 to 8.1 percent. •  Recent engineering graduates can expect anywhere around $51,000 per year to $57,000 per year. •  An engineering graduate degree holder can expect around $95,000 to $109,000, and unemployment ranges from 2.3 to 3.1 percent.
  9. 9. Conclusion •  Attending college is the best option for finding employment opportunities.The more advanced your degree, the more likely you are to earn more. •  Not all college degrees are created equally, and what major you take matters the most.
  10. 10. For more information: See the full report at: Email Us | Follow Us on Twitter | @GeorgetownCEW Find Us on Facebook | Follow Us on LinkedIn |