January 5, 2012
What’s the degree with the highest post-graduate unemployment? It’s not English or philosophy, but architecture, a once-thriving industry that’s been severely battered by the housing crash (though the former two don’t exactly bring in the big bucks either).
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A study released Wednesday by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce found that among recent college graduates with undergraduate degrees, architecture had the highest rate of unemployment at 13.9 percent, followed by the arts (11.1 percent) and the humanities (9.4 percent). The degrees that gave graduates the best prospects of landing work were in health (5.4 percent unemployment), education (5.4 percent), and agriculture and natural resources (7 percent).
While many college students are acutely aware their degree in 17th century Greek literature won’t garner a salary anywhere near what a Wall Street banker or chemical engineer makes, others likely don’t give it much thought, opting to follow their passions and face the real world after graduation.
But in an increasingly dicey job market for college grads, it might finally be time for students to sit down with a calculator to crunch the cost-vs.-payoff numbers for their degree before declaring a major. That, or acknowledge that the only architecture they might be seeing if they pursue their love of structural design is the unemployment office.