We’re not going to sugarcoat reality: the jobs picture for today’s graduates isn’t pretty. The youth unemployment rate is around 17% — nearly double the overall unemployment rate — and many job fields, including law and business, are oversaturated by recent grad students (many of whom decided to go back to school when the economy tanked four years ago). But before you throw in the employment towel, here’s the good news: there are tons of jobs available out there, you just have to know where to look! Here are the top majors for job growth right now, and what you should be studying to put yourself in (even more) demand after graduation.
1. Engineering: Engineers of all disciplines have great job opportunities today — and the more specialized you are, the better. Chemical, electrical and many other engineering fields have a growing need in today’s highly advanced, technological work force. And this sector isn’t going anywhere: the energy, medical and computer industries are crucial to our modern society, and as new products are rolled out, new skills are needed. Hey, somebody has to design the new iPhone! (Median Starting Salary: $59,000)
2. Biochemistry: Biochemists and biophysicists study the chemical and physical principles of living things — including, you guessed it: US. Wanna learn more about cell development, growth, and heredity while helping people? This major is for you. As we continue to build on basic research and discover new treatments and cures, more biochemists and biophysicists will be needed in our work force to develop products to improve our lives. (Median Starting Salary: $49,000)
3. Computer Sciences: This one should be a no-brainer, but until recent years it wasn’t he most popular major on campus. Knowing how to use a computer is easy today. Knowing how to program, develop and design systems is not. As you’ve probably noticed from the constant alerts on your smartphone, hardware and software applications change all the time. There will always be demand for the newest, fastest, and most powerful way to do things — and computers are behind that progress all the way. (Median Starting Salary: $68,000)
4. Nursing and Medical: There’s a serious shortage of qualified nurses and other medical professionals right now. With people all over the world living longer, there is greater demand for health care — and that will only continue to grow into the future as the “baby boomer” generation reaches retirement age. Not only are there tons of jobs in this space, but compensation packages are also growing faster than the national averages. (Median Starting Salary: $45,000)
5. Building and Construction Management: It’s this simple: as economies around the globe try to get back on their feet, they need the physical infrastructure to support them. Enter: building and construction management. Qualified building and construction management leaders are in short supply. Knowing how to take a project from paper to steel and concrete is a valuable skill, and one which calls for vision and creativity. As building regulations and safety concerns become more complex, demand will continue to grow. Now is the time to grab that hard hat and get to work! (Median Starting Salary: $55,000)