Good luck and good riddance to the college graduates of 2009. They are going to need it with an unstable economy and unemployment rates higher than they have been in 26 years. Even highly marketable graduates are struggling to find job placement. Ironically enough, the silver lining for those of us still taking classes is that we are STILL taking classes.
Believe it or not, there are advantages in being in your undergrad. There has been a 15.7 percent increase in enrollment to public universities since 2000 and student loans are getting harder to obtain. But studies have proven some career choices are recession-proof, and some, well, aren’t. For students in majors in the humanities and social sciences or technology, the career choices these fields offer may be something to worry about.
According to an article by MSN.com, the top five least marketable jobs of 2009 are Print Journalism, Advertising, Architecture, Real Estate and Film Studies.
Out of these five jobs, three of them fall into the humanities and social sciences schools, and the other two into the school of technology. Although enrollment at UVU has increased 12 percent from last year, enrollment in the school of humanities and social sciences has decreased by 10.5 percent. Jordan Bastian, 24, a business management major, said, “I don’t think anyone should change their major because the economy is down right now. The economy is always fluctuating. Ten or 15 years from now, you want to be working doing what you want to do.”
In contrast, jobs that seem to be recession-proof are mostly careers in the healthcare industry and informational technologies. Dr. Mark Bracken, department chair of biology, tends to agree. “Regardless of what your major is, my advice is if you don’t love it, don’t do it. If you are doing it for the money and the economy has you concerned, then you are in the wrong field. Particularly students in difficult majors like biology or chemistry which are some of the top majors for pre-med students … will be left angry and burned out. They may even end up leaving the field later,” said Bracken. UVU’s college of science and health has seen an 11 percent increase in the number of students enrolled.
Ultimately, students should be aware of the fluctuating economy, and the impact it has on various job fields. “I think that people who change their major based on external factors and changes in the economy are simply clearing a seat for someone who wants it more,” said Brian Turner, 26, a psychology major. In the end, teachers and students alike believe students should study what they enjoy – even if the numbers don’t agree.