Degrees That Could Hurt Your Kids' Career Prospects

Source: Yahoo

Don't bother with these overrated careers

Don't assume any degree will do as long your kids graduate. When it comes to unemployment rates among recent grads, all degrees are not created equal.

One of your jobs as a parent is preparing your child to face life on their own - and that includes preparing them to pursue a good career. The first step is picking the right major.
One of the problems is there often aren't enough opportunities for kids to learn about careers before it's time to choose a major. "Teenagers need help selecting college majors because they simply aren't exposed to many career fields or professions," explains Jolyn Brand, certified teacher and owner of Brand College Consulting, Inc. in Houston, Texas, helping students find, apply, and get accepted to colleges.
According to Brand, parents can be a crucial resource at this critical time. "Parents can help by taking a child's strengths, interests, and personality into account while researching degrees and careers," she advises.
How should you advise your kids? She suggests avoiding "fields that are too narrow or specific or simply have too low job growth to support all the college graduates coming out with those degrees." Instead, she suggests pursuing majors "that have high demand, tangible skills, and are prerequisites for a chosen field."
But how do you know which fields to avoid and which ones to steer your kids toward? One way is by looking at the research.
In Georgetown University's 2013 "Hard Times" study, several degrees were linked to dramatically higher unemployment rates for recent grads than others. These are the ones your kids might want to steer clear of when thinking about future career prospects. Fortunately, the study also lists some degrees linked to lower unemployment rates.
We've broken down some of the biggest degrees to avoid - as well as some great ones to pursue - for you to talk about with your kids. Remember, while no degree can guarantee employment, certain degrees may give your kids a leg up in the competitive job markets ahead.

Degree to Avoid #1: Bachelor's in Information Systems

Unemployment Rate For Recent College Grads: 14.7%*
It seems like any computer-related degree is a smart bet, right? And information systems might seem like it's at the top of the chain, since information is what computers thrive on.
After all, in a management information systems program, your kid could be learning about higher level computer issues like database design, systems analysis and design, and programming for systems development. That's according to the College Board, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping students find success and opportunity in college. But even if your kid is technically inclined, this could actually be the worst "computer-related" degree to pursue.
Why It Could Ruin Your Kid's Job Prospects: "Although there are a high volume of jobs employing information systems majors, the market has been relatively flooded with these majors since the 1990's," says Jason Hanold, Managing Partner of the HR executive search firm Hanold Associates in Evanston, Ill. "Technologies have evolved, more outsourcing occurs, and supply of talent is overweighting demand for this specific major, often in favor of computer science majors."

Degree to Consider #1: Bachelor's in Finance

Find Programs Unemployment Rate For Recent College Grads: 5.9%*
Does your kid have a good head for numbers? One thing we can bank on - money is going to be part of our society for the foreseeable future, and that makes a degree in finance pretty appealing. According to the College Board, with this major, your child could learn about investments, financial management, and accounting and statistics for financial analysis.
Why the Future Could Be Bright: "All of business has room for graduates with business acumen and financial savvy," says Hanold. "This will continue to be a versatile degree that is viewed as practical and desirable by a wide range of industries, well beyond banking."
Next step: Click to Find the Right Finance Program.
One of the reasons this degree is so sought after is the complex nature of the markets.
"Financial markets have become incredibly complex, almost impenetrable to the layman," explains Allan Jones, vice president of product for the recruiting firm ZipRecruiter. "Employers really want someone who can understand how the market works now, who can create models of future performance based on an incredible number of variables, and who can give sound business advice in an uncertain environment."
Even better news? "We've seen job growth in the financial industry stay relatively strong over the last few years, and all the signs we see point to it continuing to be a source of good jobs moving forward," Jones adds.
Potential Career** Median Annual Salary † 90th %ile of Annual Salary † 10th %ile of Annual Salary † Projected Number of New Jobs 2012-2022‡
Financial Analyst $78,380 > $152,420 < $48,100 39,300

Degree to Avoid #2: Bachelor's in Film, Video, & Photography Arts

Unemployment Rate For Recent College Grads: 11.4%*
You've told your child they can do anything they put their mind to, and with classes like digital photography, animation, and screenwriting on the menu, according to the College Board, it might seem like a degree in film, video, or photography is your child's first step to pursuing their dream - but the sad truth is, it isn't necessarily going to catapult them into their hoped-for career.
Why It Could Ruin Your Kid's Job Prospects: With so many people graduating with film or photography degrees, only those with excellent skills can earn a living practicing their art, says Kate McKeon, CEO of Prepwise, an educational consulting firm helping students prepare for college admission and plan their career paths. Worse, even for those lucky few, it could take a very long time before starting to earn a decent living, she adds.
Another problem is that even with a degree, you're competing with other degree holders, plus those without that degree who have the necessary technical knowledge.
"The technology required to work in [the film] industry has become much more available. Therefore, it's easier to gain the skills, but there are a great number more people with those same skills entering the field," warns Jennifer Way, national speaker and HR consultant with over 20 years' experience. "If you aren't willing to build industry contacts and lack the wherewithal to gain entry, you will likely end up waiting tables post-graduation."

Degree to Consider #2: Bachelor's in Marketing and Marketing Research

Find Programs Unemployment Rate For Recent College Grads: 6.6%*
If your child is plugged into trends in fashion, music, or technology, they might have what it takes to earn a degree in marketing or market research. According to the College Board, marketing majors might study consumer behavior and marketing strategy, while market research majors could learn how to research buying trends and conduct surveys.
Why the Future Could Be Bright: It's one thing to make something cool - it's another thing entirely to get people to want to buy it - which is where marketing and marketing research people come into play.
"If you are selling a product - any product - you're always going need someone to know what the consumer wants," says Jones. "Especially now, when companies can collect huge amounts of data on consumer behavior, analysts who can make sense of thousands of pieces of incoming information and make recommendations based on that information are extremely valuable to employers."
Next step: Click to Find the Right Marketing Program.
The people who can make sense of all this information, Jones adds, are going to be positioned to pursue steady employment for a long time to come.
Potential Career** Median Annual Salary † 90th %ile of Annual Salary † 10th %ile of Annual Salary † Projected Number of New Jobs 2012-2022‡
Market Research Analyst $60,800 >$114,250 <$33,490 131,500

Degree to Avoid #3: Bachelor's in Anthropology

Unemployment Rate For Recent College Grads: 12.6%*
This is a degree that might seem promising at first blush - a science-oriented degree that focuses on people and primates. However, classes like biological anthropology, human origins and evolution, and primate behavior - all typical courses for this major, according to the College Board - might not prepare your child for the larger job market.
Why It Could Ruin Your Kid's Job Prospects: As exciting as studying anthropology might be in school, the reality of post-graduation life is that this degree just isn't useful to most businesses, says Way.
And if your child thinks they are committed to working as an anthropologist, make sure they understand the sacrifices necessary to pursue this field, she advises. You might have to move, pay for travel, and/or learn to speak multiple languages, for example. Many students may be disillusioned by the reality of pursuing a career with this degree, explains Way.

Degree to Consider #3: Bachelor's in Civil Engineering

Find Programs Unemployment Rate For Recent College Grads: 7.6%*
You've always known your kid likes building things, from irrigation projects in your backyard to sound-proofing the garage for band practice. You might want to suggest they consider a degree in civil engineering. The College Board says they might learn about thermodynamics, structural analysis and design, and environmental awareness for engineers.
Why the Future Could Be Bright: "There's a shortage of civil engineers in this country," says Jones. "Employers are always looking for someone who can step in and start contributing immediately. Combine a shortage of civil engineers with a growing backlog of infrastructure projects which will need to be addressed sooner rather than later, and you've got a growth industry that shows few signs of slowing down."
Next step: Click to Find the Right Civil Engineering Program.
Even better, just earning the degree could speak volumes about your child to potential employers. "Even if the candidate does not practice as an engineer, a degree in civil engineering demonstrates discipline and ability to handle rigorous study. Practicing within the field of engineering provides long term professional credibility," says McKeon.
Want to know what else you could do with this degree? Well, according to McKeon, civil engineering students could end up in construction management, strategy consulting, or even investment banking. "The attraction for strategy and banking firms is the discipline, the ability to crank through massive amounts of data without losing the big picture," McKeon says. "The degree teaches systematic thought and design processes as well as subtle negotiation skills." All of this could make for a civil engineering grad an attractive candidate for a variety of jobs.
Potential Career** Median Annual Salary † 90th %ile of Annual Salary † 10th %ile of Annual Salary † Projected Number of New Jobs 2012-2022‡
Civil Engineer $80,770 >$126,190 <$51,810 53,700

Degree to Avoid #4: Bachelor's in Architecture

Unemployment Rate For Recent College Grads: 12.8%*
The housing market is bouncing back, so that means prospects for architects are brighter now, right? Not necessarily. After diligently studying things like architectural history, architectural theory, and structural design, classes typical of this major according to the College Board, your child might be eager to pursue an architecture career. However, your kid might find it challenging to find employment after graduating.
Why It Could Ruin Your Kid's Job Prospects: It's all about supply exceeding demand. "There remains a steady demand for architects, yet more have entered the field, elevating the unemployment rates," says Hanold.
"This tends to be a feast or famine career," he explains, adding that many, many prospective architects enter the career, but only the best of the best thrive. "The others drift away into other careers, or work unsteadily, impacting unemployment rates," he adds.

Degree to Consider #4: Bachelor's in Elementary Education

Find Programs Unemployment Rate For Recent College Grads: 5.0%*
Was your kid the most requested babysitter on the block? Maybe they should consider applying their ability to communicate with young children to a degree in elementary education. The College Board says some of the classes an education major might take include educational psychology, philosophy of education, and teaching methods.
Why the Future Could Be Bright: A bachelor's in elementary education can prepare you to pursue a career that will probably be around forever. "Teachers are always in demand," says Jones. "As long as there are children, there will be a need for teachers."
Next step: Click to Find the Right Elementary Education Program.
And if your kid is worried about whether this degree is "cool," they should talk to their peers about it. "The population entering this program has kept remarkable pace with the growth in opportunities given the population growth. Millennials are very thoughtful about making an impact, and this is a terrific place to start," says Hanold.
Potential Career** Median Annual Salary † 90th %ile of Annual Salary † 10th %ile of Annual Salary † Projected Number of New Jobs 2012-2022‡
Elementary School Teacher $53,590 >$83,600 <$35,760 167,900

Degree to Avoid #5: Bachelor's in Political Science and Government

Unemployment Rate For Recent College Grads: 11.1%*
Did your child start to get interested in politics when they came of age to vote? You might want to warn them about the potential challenges they could face when it comes time to look for work in the "real world" after graduating with a political science degree.
Typical classes, according to the College Board, can include political theory, public policy analysis, and U.S. foreign policy. While interesting, these courses might not be applicable to the vast majority of jobs that will be hiring after your child graduates.
Why It Could Ruin Your Kid's Job Prospects: The problem with this degree, Hanold says, is that there aren't many opportunities for applying what your child learns in political science to general business positions, and if your child isn't interested in running for office, that could pose some problems when it comes time to look for a job.
"This degree has very few graduates who are actually planning to have a career in politics," says Hanold. Instead, he says, some students might "fall into" this major because the classes seem interesting, not because they have any passion or aspiration to make a career in politics after graduation.
In addition, the U.S. Department of Labor says that the small amount of job openings combined with how popular political science programs are in universities and colleges means that it's likely that there will be few positions relative to the number of qualified candidates.

Degree to Consider #5: Bachelor's in Nursing

Find Programs Unemployment Rate For Recent College Grads: 4.8%*
You've always admired your child's empathy. A degree in nursing might suit their caring nature to a T - and it could even prepare them to pursue a strong, stable career for years to come. In this degree program they could learn about health assessment, complex nursing, and anatomy and physiology, according to the College Board.
Why the Future Could Be Bright: "The health care industry has been and will remain one of the hottest areas of job growth, and employers are always looking for candidates to fill the more highly skilled nursing positions which require college degrees, especially as the population ages and the demand for health care professionals increases," says Jones. "Not only are registered nurses going to be in demand far into the foreseeable future, but this is one of the best-paying positions in health care."
Next step: Click to Find the Right Nursing Program.
McKeon adds that the nursing degree itself indicates a certain level of professionalism to prospective employers. "This degree is popular with employers because it increasingly demonstrates ability to juggle multiple concurrent projects (patients/cases), make important clutch decisions, and improve business processes for improved results."
Potential Career** Median Annual Salary † 90th %ile of Annual Salary † 10th %ile of Annual Salary † Projected Number of New Jobs 2012-2022‡
Registered Nurse $66,220 >$96,320 <$45,630 526,800

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