Could your college major lead to unemployment?

Recent architecture grad? You’re much more at risk for joblessness than fellow students emerging with nursing and elementary education degrees, according to a report from Georgetown University.

The recession’s crumpling effect on the construction industry has led to a 13.9% unemployment rate for new architecture graduates – an environment that is also causing those with civil and mechanical engineering majors to worry.

Non-technical degrees seem to be strong magnets for joblessness, according to Wednesday’s report. The out-of-work rate for new holders of arts degrees is 11.1%, while it’s 9.4% for humanities and liberal arts and 8.1% for law and public policy.

The outlook is better for those with education and health majors, who face the lowest unemployment rate out of the lot with 5.4%. Degrees in fields such as business, psychology and social work, engineering and even journalism equate to a jobless rate between 7.3% and 7.5%.


Some majors often assumed to be irresistible to hiring managers actually aren’t, the study found.

Although employers are still hiring computer specialists who can create new software and applications, information specialists who use the technology are facing an 11.7% unemployment rate. Business majors are fine, unless they’re focusing on hospitality management, which is suffering from a 9.1% jobless rate due to the slumping travel and tourism sector.

Graduate degree-holders are best shielded – just 3% of those workers are unemployed. Among all job-hunters with new bachelor’s degrees, 8.9% are out of work, compared to 22.9% of those with a recent high school diploma and 31.5% of high school dropouts.



College degree is still worth the (very considerable) cost

College graduates earn 84% more than high school grads, study says