Business

Only 2% of companies seeking to hire liberal-arts majors, poll finds

Just 2% of companies are actively recruiting students with liberal-arts degrees
Disconnect: Companies want communication skills, but they're not looking for liberal-arts majors
More than 1 in 4 companies seek to hire engineers. Nearly 1 in 5 want business majors

A mere 2% of companies are actively recruiting college graduates with liberal-arts degrees, according to a new study. 

Not surprisingly, many more corporate hiring managers are on the lookout for engineering or business majors, according to the survey by Millennial Branding, a research and consulting firm, and Beyond.com, a career advisory website.

According to the poll, 27% of companies are seeking to recruit engineering and computer students, while 18% want business majors.

The low percentage of companies seeking liberal-arts majors isn’t a shock given the tenor of today’s job market. However, more than four in five human-resource managers cited communication skills as a top trait they’re looking for in job candidates, a skill typically in abundance among liberal-arts majors.

“In the current economy, majoring in liberal arts won't yield good job prospects, so you have to pair a liberal arts degree with business courses in order to become a more appealing candidate,” said Dan Schawbel, founder of Millennial Branding.

The poll surveyed almost 3,000 job seekers and 281 human-resource managers.

As for getting hired, anyone who has ever blindly sent in a resume to a job board or website should take heart.

According to the survey, 45% of companies say they find candidates on job boards. Nearly one in five said they get candidates from their company websites. An additional 17% look to employee referrals.

More than 7 in 10 HR managers said that referral candidates get high priority when in job searches.

In the brewing debate about the value of a college degree, 73% of hiring managers said colleges are only “somewhat preparing” students for the working world.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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