Tuesday, November 1, 2011

These college degrees are the most sought after by employers

Susan Adams at Forbes.com:

Which college degrees will be in greatest demand by employers looking to hire 2012 college graduates? Not surprisingly, a new survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) shows that business, engineering and computer science diplomas top the list.

Each year NACE, a Bethlehem, Pa. non-profit group that links college career placement offices with employers, surveys its employer members about their hiring plans. Members tend to be large companies with well-developed college recruiting programs. There are consulting firms like Ernst & Young and KPMG, giant corporations like Procter & Gamble and DuPont and energy companies like ConocoPhillips and Entergy. Two hundred forty four companies responded to the survey.

As I wrote recently, the good news for college grads is that overall, survey respondents reported they planned to hire 9.5% more college grads than in 2011, though the boost is mostly due to attrition. The survey also found that companies aim to do most of their recruiting during the fall semester.

After computer science, the next most in-demand major is the more general sciences, followed by liberal arts, communications, and lastly, agriculture and natural resources.

NACE slices and dices its survey data into multiple categories. Though the demand for business, engineering and computer science majors seems highly predictable, I’m intrigued by a breakdown NACE did of liberal arts degrees by demand. Political science/government ranked at the top, followed by psychology, English, sociology and finally, and to me somewhat sadly, history. Sad because it seems to me that

a student of history would be more likely to bring a sense of perspective and critical analysis to a career than a student of finance or accounting, the top two most in-demand business majors.

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