Profiles: Picking the Right Major

Jan. 1, 2012
Recent college graduates with a bachelor's degree in architecture have higher unemployment rates than those with other majors.

Recent college graduates with a bachelor's degree in architecture have higher unemployment rates than those with other majors, according to a Georgetown University study.

The research by Georgetown's Center on Education and the Workforce found that graduates 22 to 26 years old with architecture majors had an unemployment rate of 13.9 percent in 2009-10. The study attributes the high jobless rate to the collapse of the construction and home-building industry in recent years. Other majors with high unemployment rates were arts (11.1 percent), and humanities and the liberal arts (9.4 percent).

Those with engineering degrees are paid the best among recent college graduates—the median salary for recent graduates with engineering degrees is $55,000.

Overall, the research concluded that earning a bachelor's degree improves a graduate's job prospects. Unemployment for students with new bachelor's degrees is 8.9 percent, compared with 22.9 percent for job seekers with a recent high school diploma—and 31.5 percent for recent high school dropouts.

Going on to a graduate degree can further improve employment opportunities, the study says. The overall unemployment rate for people with graduate degrees is just 3 percent.

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