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10 College Majors with the Highest Employment Rates

By: Jordan Hicks
On: 2016-11-12

Picking the right major is as important as getting into the college. This article surveys the 10 College Majors with the Highest Employment Rates and helps you to pick your major wisely.


The unemployment rate has finally fallen below 5 percent for the first time since 2008. While the economy is better than is was in the Great Recession, no one is ready to say its booming just yet. In fact, even the politicians are berating our most recently retired President Obama, saying the “real” unemployment rate is much higher than publicly noted. You read that right, Bernie Sanders and our most recently elected President Donald Trump agree on something, for which they are both raising arms about just how much progress has come to pass during President Obama’s term. There are several reasons why our 4.9% unemployment rate doesn’t feel like a success and doesn’t feel as though its because there is plenty of work available.

Firstly, fewer adults are working. 62.7% of adult Americans are working. Partially due to the retirement of the baby boomers, and partially due to more of the younger generation going to college instead of directly into the work force, both of which should be good signs. However the third reason less people are working is difficult to describe and measure, some people have simply given up on finding work. The Wall Street Journal estimates
about 2.6 million of the 9.2 million American adults who aren’t working want a job but aren’t looking for one.

Secondly, long-term unemployment is still high. During the Great Recession, 6.8 million people were long term unemployed, meaning they had trouble finding work for longer than half a year. Currently, 2.1 million Americans qualify for this description, toughly double the average in normal times. And thirdly, the wage growth is anemic in recent years. Actually for about 20 years, the typical take home pay (or median income as its called by the Census Bureau), is the same once adjusted for inflation. To simplify, that means middle class families aren’t getting ahead, they’re just getting by. To be fair, this was the case well before the Great Recession, however, the reality remains that wage growth is slinking along at 2.5% a year. Where when unemployment is low, the wage growth should be rising an average of 4% per year.

If you’re looking to get ahead of the curve, what you study at college will have a major impact on how you end up spending the years following degree completion, as well as the rest of your life. What follows are the majors with the highest employment rates inside the US. They may not be the most glamorous or high paying jobs, but they are consistently in demand in the modern business world. These jobs are quite focused, requiring years of education beyond the presumed average degree length of four years, however the number of positions open within each field is quite high.

Nuclear Engineering 0%
Archeology 0%
Telecommunications 0%
Radiological Sciences 0%
Meteorology 0%
Genetics 0%
Neuroscience and Cognitive Sciences 0%
Kinesiology 2.1%
Chemical Engineering 2.2%

Not withstanding, these are the degrees with the highest unemployment rates. Many fall into the arts relative fields which we’ve come to expect, however, architecture and even some sciences have made it on to this list for the first time in years.

Architecture and Urban Planning Department 10%
Industrial Design 10.7%
Physical Therapy and Exercise Sciences 11.1%
Interior Design 11.9%
Cultures and Civilization 12%
Civil engineering 12.4%
Agriculture and Horticulture 12.5%
Arts and Design Department 13.3%
Animal Studies 14.7%
PreDentistry and Dentistry 29.2%

We had no idea there was so little need for dentists these days, or perhaps its that people within the United States are finding it difficult to afford dentists at this time, therefore making the demand for the position low. With so many of the US population looking for work, a guaranteed hire on the other side of your degree completion can make all the difference in your life. Whatever the case may be, consider carefully your move when picking your college major and how things may change within the coming years. Simply having a college degree does not by any means guarantee you a good job out the other side of the college experience. Depending on the field you intend to join, it may even be a better use of your time to forgo the degree and instead opt for the long held tradition of apprenticeship. Choose wisely, for your choice will decide if you spend the years following your education working within your chosen field, or working some daily grind job likely to drive you insane.

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