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In-demand degrees impress employers

By Sandra Rodriguez | Pulse staff reporter

If you are wondering which degree will get you a job after you graduate, you are not alone. Before submitting a university application, consider the best degrees and the worst degrees when it comes to job placement. Currently, the national unemployment rate is at 8.1 percent.

Best Worst Degrees - Lowest
Degrees with the lowest unemployment rates

Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce recently released a study titled “Hard Times: Not all degrees are created equal.” Earning a college degree could greatly increase your chance of avoiding unemployment, according to the report.

Georgetown tracked average incomes for recent graduates, as well as the incomes of graduates with some experience and advanced degrees. Only two majors reach six-figure salaries upon leaving graduate school: Engineering and Pharmacy. Law school graduates, on the other hand, average $70,000 a year.

Best Worst Degrees - Highest
Degrees with the highest unemployment rates

So which degrees are the worst and which are the best? A local staffing agency, Aerotek, couldn’t provide specific numbers as to which degrees will get you a job. However, Kelly Essary, an account manager with Aerotek, shared her experience.

“I can tell you definitely that people with Math, History and English degrees are not the best candidates,“ she said. The degrees that typically are good are: Accounting/Finance, Marketing/Advertising (sales candidates), Business, Engineers, Communications and Science degrees.

According to Career Builder’s annual hiring forecast, the top two positions that companies plan to hire for in 2013 are Sales and Information Technology. This is also where employers expect to see the largest salary increases. Hiring managers plan to recruit full-time and permanent employees for:

*Sales – 29 percent
*Information Technology – 27 percent
*Customer Service – 23 percent
*Engineering – 22 percent
*Production – 22 percent
*Business Development – 18 percent
*Administrative – 17 percent
*Research & Development – 15 percent
*Accounting & Finance - 14 percent
*Marketing – 14 percent

The earnings’ gap between high school and college grads is significant. In 2011, high school graduates in their 20s were making a mean annual salary of $25,484 versus $39,705 for college graduates of the same age.

According to Charley A. Garcia, Student Success team leader, Liberal Arts is the most common degree at Palo Alto. It’s usually because students can apply most of their extra classes to this degree.

Students often ask Garcia, “If I get a certain degree, do I have to stay in the field?” and the answer is no. It’s very likely that you will end up working outside of your degree. Plus, your major may change when you transfer to your senior institution.

Studies find that employers will hire graduates because they have earned a college degree.

Ronald Silva is a current Communication major with more than 15 years of experience in Public Relations and Advertising.

“I have continuously been passed over for positions and promotion due to the fact that I did not have a college degree,” said Silva.

Silva returned to college after he had been passed over for promotions one too many times.