It’s never ideal to first come into the job market during the aftermath of a recession, but the Class of 2014 had no choice. Those graduating from four-year colleges are likely to earn significantly more over their lifetimes than their high school graduate peers. That has never been more true than now.
Jobs requiring more modest training— word processing/typing, telephone operators and telemarketers,bookkeeping, computer operators—have been greatly reduced by technological changes in the last 13 years. 287,000 fewer jobs exist in word processing today than in 2000; 218,000 fewer in computer operating; 129,000 less in telemarketing. And on the losses go in bookkeeping, proofreading, travel agencies, carpentry. These jobs have been replaced by technology.
However, huge growth has been seen in other fields, and these are fields which require advanced training:
In the same time period, computer/systems jobs have increased by 374,000, a whopping 164% increase since 2000. Software engineer positions have grown 49%. Financial management positions have increased by 28%, up 270,000 jobs. There are more lawyers and accountants today. Significant growth has been seen in jobs relating to health care: physical therapists, up 57%, RNs up 32% and Physicians/Surgeons up 27%.
Savvy undergraduates are keying into majors like business, economics, STEM disciplines, and computer science. There is plenty of space in the curriculum for cool courses in areas of interest like film study, women’s literature, or psychology, for example. College undergrads who select their majors carefully and take strategic internships and summer jobs which train and open doors will find good opportunities in the job market.
Sarah C. Reese
Informed Educational Solutions