You could waste four years studying a foundering field. Or, find out right here what careers (and majors) are still worth pursuing during times of economic stress.
Like the national census or a good Bruce Willis movie, a recession hits the United States about every 10 years or so. It doesn’t take a math major to see it’s been nearly that long since the burst of the dot-com bubble, and now, the collapse of mortgage-backed security has brought Wall Street — and the rest of the economy — to its knees again. As for college students? Well, we’re just crossing our fingers that four years is enough time for the job market to rebound.
Luckily, the U.S. financial system seems to be on the upswing. “By the end of the year, things should be looking better,” says Laurence Shatkin, author of The 150 Best Recession-Proof Jobs. But Shatkin warns that a recovery would not necessarily signal a return in jobs. “They are the last thing to recover in a recession; businesses are going to wait until the last minute to stop using temporary hires. It will easily be over a year until this country starts seeing an increase in job openings.” Here, we relay the crème de la crème of careers so you can declare a major now that will set you up for success later.
What to Pursue
Health care. Even in dire straits, people need certain services. Shatkin cites the health care industry, which pays well and continues a growth pattern as the field most adept at staying afloat during a financial downturn. Careers in the medical realm — physicians, surgeons, pharmacists, health service managers — round out No. 6 through No. 10 on Shatkin’s list of 150 recession-proof jobs.
Major in: biomedical sciences, biology, chemistry. Plan on being pre-med.
Information technology. High tech is an industry with heavy growth — recession or no recession. With the Internet getting bigger by the millisecond, the stakes for finding a job in the technological world are up. The market does, however, face competition from outsourcing, since labor abroad is cheaper.
Major in: computer science, mathematics, computer engineering, electrical engineering. No lit majors here.
Government. Shatkin is quick to point out that careers in government don’t have to be defined by bureaucratic paper pushing and yards of red tape. “Careers like school administrators and law enforcement officers fall under the government’s sphere,” he says. Government positions have had better protection against layoffs, which means more job security.
Major in: public policy, history, politics. Law school is another path to take if you’re looking to snag a spot working for the Feds.
Green jobs. An important, budding movement is the green sector — especially green energy. Organizations are looking for enthusiastic college grads to jump on board. Plus, the current presidential administration wants to transform energy needs into a self-sustaining machine anchored by clean and renewable power.
Major in: environmental science, civil engineering, environmental engineering. Although, there are opportunities for activists, advertisers and writers to get involved too, since the field is relatively new and malleable.
Education. The good news is that there’s still a very high demand for teachers. The bad news is that schools get funding from local taxes, so when this revenue dries up, so does money toward teachers’ salaries. Making big bucks is almost out of the question.
Major in: various topics in education, from math to P.E.
What to Avoid….Click HERE to read the rest of this article and to find out more about majors to avoid.