With the state of the economy in turmoil all over the world, many young people and their parents are questioning the usefulness of a college education.
While governments encourage young people to get a degree, increasing fees and the lack of good jobs at the end of it, are leading many people to think twice. The prospect of huge debt and a mediocre job, in a field unrelated to your studies or worse still, no job at all, is proving to be a big deterrent.
There are mixed messages about the employability of new graduates and it seems that the subject of your degree is a crucial factor.
Accounting student Anne Rose will already have a job waiting when she receives her degree next week. Psychology major Echo Presgraves won’t be so fortunate.
Rose, 22, credits her choice of major as paving the way. She signed a contract with PricewaterhouseCoopers before she even began her senior year at Villanova University’s School of Business in Pennsylvania, after completing an internship last summer with the audit and consulting firm.
“The major obviously has a huge role in it, compared to some of my friends that are marketing majors who still are struggling to find full-time employment right now,” said Rose, from Dallas….More at Job-seeking graduates find accounting beats psychology | Jobs …
According to Millennial Branding, the following areas of study are the most likely to land you a job:
The types of students who are landing jobs. 34% of companies are recruiting engineering and computer information systems majors and 30% are recruiting liberal arts majors. Only 18% are recruiting finance and accounting majors combined. Of the companies that compete for STEM talent (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), 75% said it’s hard or very hard to compete against other big brands.
Despite some reports that graduate employment is improving, others report that half of all graduates are experiencing problems:
A weak labor market already has left half of young college graduates either jobless or underemployed in positions that don’t fully use their skills and knowledge.
Young adults with bachelor’s degrees are increasingly scraping by in lower-wage jobs — waiter or waitress, bartender, retail clerk or receptionist, for example — and that’s confounding their hopes a degree would pay off despite higher tuition and mounting student loans….More at Half Of New Graduates Find They Are Jobless Or Underemployed
So what is the solution?
While the economy is in its current state there is no easy solution. With so much uncertainty, young people can only do some research and make the best choices in their own situations. If possible, they should look for a course which is vocational or at least provides skills which are in demand in the marketplace.
Of course, not everyone is suited to a career in medicine, law or the other more employable disciplines and not everyone who aspires to a career in medicine or law will be accepted by a university.
So it makes sense to look at the broader picture. Do you love your subject enough to study it for the sake of it? Most degrees will provide some of the so called soft skills which are in demand by employers, especially communication and teamwork skills.
But it is important to get as much work experience as you can to develop general skills. Voluntary work and extra curricular activities will also help and are becoming increasingly important when it comes to getting a university place as well as getting a job.
Look at the other options open to you – apprenticeships and other on the job training schemes. And if you want to study but don’t want to run up huge debts, consider part time courses.