Worried about finding a job after college? Here are six degrees that can prepare you for a post-graduate career.
Worried about finding a job right after you graduate? You have a right to be concerned. According to a February 2013 survey published by the U.S. Department of Labor, 12.6 percent of recent college graduates were unemployed in 2011.
The good news is that some degrees are more likely than others to help you navigate through today's tough employment market - since they are more likely to give you the skills you need to be successful in certain fields.
Wondering which ones those are? Take a look at six bachelor's degrees that are in high demand, and why they can put you one step closer to finding a job after graduation.
As a computer science graduate, you'll be well versed in a number of highly-employable areas, including information systems, cyber security, web design, and software development, says Mika Nash, academic dean of and associate professor in the Division of Continuing Professional Studies at Champlain College.
"Employees appreciate this kind of degree because it enables them to leave their options open and to create opportunity across the entire field," She adds that a "computer science degree, at its best, prepares students to use what they have learned as a foundation for a constantly changing field."
What You'll Learn: As a computer science major, you might take programming classes, according to the College Board, a non-profit organization that administers the SAT admission text. You might also take other courses such as artificial intelligence, software engineering, digital system design, and mathematics for computer science.
Potential career opportunities*:
Business administration is an excellent generalist degree for someone who wants to go into virtually any area of business, says Nash.
"Students study finance, marketing, human resources, management and supervision, economics, and ethics to gain a depth of understanding for best practices in a variety of industries," Nash explains.
In addition to that, "business students are afforded years of practice in problem-solving and decision-making, enabling them to become strategic thinkers by the time they graduate from college - a critically important skill in our rapidly changing economy," according to Nash. Because of the broadness of the degree and the many subjects studied, graduates are able to move into a number of roles in the business world and often be successful right out of school, Nash says.
What You'll Learn: As a business administration and management major, you'll likely take courses such as human resources management, accounting, financial and operations management, marketing, and business ethics and law, according to the College Board.
Potential career opportunities:
Many people only think of nurses in hospitals - and while a high percentage of nurses do work in hospitals, there are many other places nurses can be employed.
According to Barbara Lockwood, director and associate professor at the School of Nursing at Aurora University, nursing graduates today can be found working in a variety of settings. For example, nurses can be found working in ambulatory care settings such as doctor's offices, surgery centers, freestanding clinics, occupational health, insurance companies as case managers, long term care, and home health care.
As a result, nursing majors have a variety of employment opportunities after graduation.
What You'll Learn: Common classes for nursing majors may include microbiology, pharmacology, health assessment, psychology, and anatomy, according to the College Board.
Potential career opportunity:
With more Americans having access to affordable health insurance, and tens of thousands of baby boomers edging past retirement age, the demand for health care in this country has never been greater, says Letha D. Williams, chair of the Health Administration Program at A.T. Still University (ATSU).
Even better news is that it's not just 'front-line' personnel (doctors, nurses) that are needed. "There's tremendous opportunity now for individuals trained in health care administration, the management side of the industry," Williams says. That's because graduates with a health care administration degree have an understanding of health care economics, finance, law, and regulations, along with health organizations' specific HR needs, and how to measure patient satisfaction, Williams says.
What You'll Learn: Health services administration students usually take classes in long-term care and aging, human resources management, health care ethics, health care policy, and health care statistics, according to the College Board.
Potential career opportunities:
Marketing might be a good career choice for you if you are intrigued by trends and how they affect consumers. And it's exactly the importance of predicting those consumer trends that makes a marketing degree so appealing to employers.
"Nowadays, if a company does not have a chief marketing officer (CMO) at the table alongside the CEO, they are selling themselves short," says Joe Rojek, director of admissions and financial solutions at Olivet Nazarene University.
In fact, more and more companies are now employing marketing graduates to help them not only market a product but also conduct research that should be presented before creating or altering a product or service, Rojek explains.
What You'll Learn: Typical courses for marketing majors could include advertising and promotion, marketing management, marketing research and strategy, marketing communications, and consumer behavior, according to the College Board.
Potential career opportunities:
If numbers and spreadsheets seem to call your name, a degree in accounting might be a good choice for you. And because accounting majors are exposed to all types of business organizations, activities, and transactions during their education, graduates have a lot of options once they start looking for work, explains Joyce A. Strawser, dean of the Stillman School of Business at Seton Hall University.
"[Accounting graduates] are excellent candidates for opportunities in finance, management, marketing, and other business domains," Strawser explains.
What You'll Learn: Students focusing on an accounting major are likely to take classes in accounting information systems, auditing, business law, and cost accounting, according to the College Board.