Most people go to college in order to get a college degree that will then lead to a successful career. However, it is common knowledge that some degrees are, at least on the face of it, pretty pointless. However, in order to make things more interesting, and potentially give you some food for thought, here are the top 10 most useful degrees of 2017 explained and why they are indeed so important, courtesy of the National Association for Colleges and Employers.
1. Computer science.
The fact that computer science is right up there as the most useful degree is perhaps not a major surprise considering the role that computers play in our lives today. Studies have shown that last year almost 70% of all computer science students had received a job offer of some kind before they had actually graduated. A number of the students did report receiving more than one, but it is still a fantastic statistic.
Economics is what keeps the world turning and without the economy where would we be? According to the NACE, 61.5% of students that were doing their majors in economics had been offered some form of employment for when they graduated. Indeed, a number of these placements are with major players in the industry, but it shows how fresh blood is always sought after. This is also an industry where graduate schemes are also extremely popular and do help to explain why it ranks at number two on this list.
We always need accountants and that probably explains why this is the third most useful degree of 2017 with 61.2% of students either being offered or securing a job while still at school. Just as with economics majors, these placements can often be with well known and well-established companies, so there is the potential for having a steady career should you achieve your major in accounting. The people that are given these job offers can also then be given the opportunity to specialize in a particular area of accounting and to then serve what amounts to an apprenticeship within the company, therefore, furthering their education. However, they do still need that accounting major to even be given this kind of opportunity.
It is probably slightly surprising that engineering comes only in fourth place. The latest study showed that 59% of all engineering majoring students were offered work for when they graduated from college. This is, of course, an extremely useful degree as there are a number of different potential routes to go along with your career and it would certainly be interesting to see which areas that 59% ended up working in. The study did also classify engineering as one major not allowing for different fields to be taken into consideration. However, it does prove beyond any doubt as to how useful engineering as a major actually is in the world today.
5. Business Administration.
This is perhaps another surprise in that only 54.3% of people taking business administration were giving the chance of employment prior to finishing college. It is surprising due to the sheer size of the business world and the numerous opportunities that constantly come around within this industry. Again, it would be more beneficial to be told where these jobs tended to be in order to ascertain exactly how useful a degree it actually is.
6. Sociology and Social Work.
Both sociology and social work come together in sixth place, but then considering they deal with people it should be pretty obvious as to why so many students are offered a job before completing their college degree. The study concluded that 42.5% of students were offered at least one job before finishing college and even though it is less than one in two it is still an impressive figure. They can, of course, be offered jobs in a wide range of areas and their versatility is certainly an advantage.
7. Mathematics and Statistics.
The world does need a constant supply of mathematicians and statisticians, so it should not be a shock to learn that 40.3% of all students taking this particular major was offered a job before completion of their studies. This is a healthy percentage and these graduates can be found in numerous industries and be working for a wide range of companies.
It is important to remember that psychologists are employed in a wide range of industries and not just in the clinical sense. That can at least help to explain why more than one in three students were offered at least one job within the field prior to graduation. In actual fact, the percentage was 39.2% although as with other majors listed above it would have been more useful to know more details about the various industries that the job offers came from.
9. History and Political Science.
It may be surprising to learn that history and political science comes ninth in this list as you probably believed that it would come much, much lower. However, the NACE study shows that 38.9% of students taking this major was offered a job before actually claiming their degree. This can perhaps be put down to their ability to conduct research and deal with details along with arguing their side of things in a controlled manner and of course these can be useful attributes in a number of industries.
It could perhaps have been anticipated that healthcare would be ranked higher in a list of useful degrees due to the size of the industry in question. However, the NACE state that 37.8%, so still more than one in three, of the students taking this as their major were offered some form of employment prior to finishing their studies and getting their degree. There are of course many areas that they could work in, but some could argue that there are fewer areas where they could work and the sheer number of people taking this major then works against the students as their numbers outweigh those of the jobs that are available. In order to learn more about this study, do consult with the official report as produced by the NACE or check it out on the Forbes.com website.