By Alejandro Cardenas |Staff Writer|
The unemployment rate for young college graduates is 8.5 percent and a total 16.8 percent of American graduates are still underemployed, according to slate.com.
This means they’re either jobless, looking for work, or only working a part-time job.
Even more disturbing, is 44 percent of recent graduates are working jobs that don’t demand a degree, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s January report.
While a lack of jobs may play a role in employment difficulties, I believe the degrees people graduate with and the current demand for graduates from those fields may be playing an even larger role.
Forbes provided a list for the top 15 most valuable college degrees based on demand for the degree, projected job opportunity growth and current supply of individuals with those skills.
Engineering degrees dominated the list with five different concentrations, the biomedical concentration taking first place.
Majors that made the list and are offered at CSUSB include biochemistry, ranked second, computer science, ranked third and mathematics, ranked 11th.
I believe the epidemic of unemployed American graduates could be the cause of too many students taking up majors with low demand.
According to the Office of Institutional Research, in 2013, only 12 CSUSB students received computer science degrees, 14 students earned degrees in mathematics and none in biochemistry.
Only 26 out of 715 CSUSB graduates in 2013 earned degrees considered highly valuable, according to Forbes.
These findings likely coincide with news of the national student loan debtas millions of students are being forced to settle for jobs that can pay back their loans.
CSUSB English degree graduate Marcelo Dominguez said, “I’ve been working with my dad for almost two years since graduating. It’s the only way I can pay my bills at the moment.”
Job market statistics can be disheartening to many college students nearing graduation, however, those getting bachelor’s degrees should also see it as an opportunity towards a master’s degree, something that can set one job applicant apart from the rest.
I have found that my bachelor’s degree in communications is not going to land me a high paying job after I graduate. It can be frustrating since communications jobs, like those in public relations and social media relations, often require year-long internships that are often not paid.
Undecided students can ease some of the uncertainty by staying aware of which majors are in high demands.
“I’m not sure which major I’m gonna go for yet,” said freshman Jacinto Contreras. “These statistics will probably have some influence towards my decision.”
Many of us have been asked the dreaded question, “What are your plans for the future?”
While answering, “I don’t know” might seem like a bad thing, CSUSB students should realize that not knowing what they will do means they have many options towards their future.