Where the Jobs Are

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Your daughter or grandson wants to get hired right out of college, without a lot of job hunting.  So what degree should you recommend that they pursue?

Recently, the National Association of Colleges and Employers published a list of the top ten degrees for getting hired in this new year—that is, the degrees that make a young person most desirable to employers.  The NACE links college career placement offices with employers, so it’s in a unique position to measure the desirability of different types of college training.

At the top of the list were accounting and computer science degrees; 98% and 97% of large companies are interested in hiring people with those credentials.  Next came finance (91%), followed by business administration/management (86%), mechanical engineering (83%), information sciences and systems (75%), management information systems (73%), electrical engineering (71%), logistics and supply chain programs (67%), economics (64%) and marketing (64%).

Notice that social sciences and humanities are not at the top of this list.  The report showed that just 20% of the employers plan to hire communications majors, and 16% will hire economics majors and English literature. But the report also noted that these “soft science” graduates, plus psychology and law majors, tend to progress toward management levels as fast or faster than the specialized computer/engineering students.

Meanwhile, Forbes magazine recently asked companies to reveal the toughest jobs to fill in this new year—which means areas where people with these skills are virtually certain to be hired.  Top of the list: data scientists, who can take gigantic data sets and turn them into usable information.

Closely-related professions also made the list: information security analyst, electrical engineer and software engineer, followed by marketing manager and operations manager.

Also on the list were health care-related jobs: home health aide, medical services manager, physical therapist and registered nurse.

About the Author: Bob Veres has been a commentator, author and consultant in the financial services industry for more than 20 years.  Over his 20-year career in the financial services world, Mr. Veres has worked as editor of Financial Planning magazine; as a contributing editor to the Journal of Financial Planning; as a columnist and editor-at-large of Dow Jones Investment Advisor magazine; and as editor of Morningstar’s advisor web site: MorningstarAdvisor.com.

Mr. Veres has been named one of the most influential people in the financial planning profession by Investment Advisor magazine and Financial Planning magazine, was granted the NAPFA Special Achievement Award by the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, and most recently the Heart of Financial Planning Distinguished Service Award from the Denver-based Financial Planning Association. 

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