Job prospects for the top 5 majors in the state of Ohio

The career and internship fair, first day, September 17, 2019. Credit: courtesy of the Office of Student Life

With the economic recovery from the pandemic on the horizon, this year’s college graduates will have an easier job search than last year.

With the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, graduates last spring entered a shrinking job market. Various fields are rebounding and employers are looking for college graduates again, but they will face stiff competition from last year’s graduates still looking for work, Brad Hershbein, Senior Economist and communications advisor at the WE Upjohn Institute for Job Search, said.

“The downside is that they are in competition with a lot of graduates from last year who may have found a job, but not the one they were looking for, and who are also looking to change,” Hershbein said. “So it’s a bit crowded.”

Job postings have increased for all majors since last year, said Jennifer Chilman, deputy director of employer engagement and internships for Buckeye Careers at the Office of Academic Affairs, in an email. She said job postings on Handshake, a career website for students, have increased by almost 200%, from around 3,000 in April 2020 to almost 10,000 in April 2021.

The top five majors by enrollment in August 2020 in the state of Ohio were finance, biology, psychology, marketing, and computer science and engineering, according to Ohio State Analysis and Reporting Website.

1. Finances

Hershbein said that while the financial sector was not the industry hardest hit throughout the pandemic, companies have cut staff. He said now companies have started hiring again.

In April, the unemployment rate in the finance and insurance sector was 2 percent, down from 3 percent just a month earlier in March, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Jobs increases from the pandemic low of around 200,000 in November 2020 to just over 260,000 in March.

Finance majors are among the top earning graduates in the state of Ohio with aaverage annual income approximately $ 46,000 a year after graduation and $ 98,000 10 years after graduation, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

2. Biology

Since biology students often pursue graduate degrees after their undergraduate degree, Hershbein said it can be difficult to judge how the labor market for biology students is changing.

Hershbein said there are expected to be more jobs than last year due to the pandemic, which could create more opportunities later for those who want to get into the health fields. He also said that the emergence of “long COVID” – the condition in which people who have technically recovered from the disease still experience symptoms long afterward – could spur the growth of therapy jobs.

“I think people will want to get into something where they’re not necessarily stuck in hospital hours, but they have a little more control,” Hershbein said. “Various types of therapy jobs, from respiratory therapy to occupational therapy to physiotherapy, all of these kinds of things have developed and are likely to accelerate.”

the unemployment rate for the health care and social assistance sector was 3.4 percent in April, down from 4.1 percent in January, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Jobs have increases from about 850,000 in May 2020 to over 1.2 million in April.

3. Psychology

It’s more difficult to assess job markets for psychology students because graduates end up working in a variety of fields, Chilman said in an email. Hershbein said the versatility of a psychology degree gives graduates a wider range of fields to consider, which could be beneficial to them when looking for a job.

“There should be a lot of options available; it might not be what you thought you’d get, so keeping an open mind is probably the best case out there, ”Hershbein said.

Students of psychology also have the option of pursuing higher education. According to US Bureau of Labor Statistics, those with a master’s or doctorate will have the best employment prospects, such as psychiatry, clinical psychology, and industrial and organizational psychology.

the average annual salary for an Ohio State graduate with a degree in psychology are around $ 25,000 one year after graduation and around $ 50,000 10 years after graduation, according to the US Census Bureau.

4. Marketing

Hershbein said marketing students should have similar job prospects to finance students, as companies hire more as they return to normal operations. Marketing students are expected to see an increase in openings, especially from companies like P&G, which sells consumer durables and other goods, Hershbein said.

the average annual salary for an Ohio State graduate with a degree in marketing are about $ 40,000 one year after graduation and about $ 80,000 10 years after graduation, according to the US Census Bureau .

5. Computer science and engineering

Hershbein said computer science and engineering students shouldn’t be too worried, as career opportunities in computer science are expected to expand.

“IT has been gangbustered for quite some time now and that’s not going to change,” he said.

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, software developer jobs, a popular career for majors in computer science and engineering, are should increase by 22% from 2019 to 2029, a rate five times faster than the average growth rate of all jobs, which is 4%.

Computer science and engineering students are also among the the most profitable Ohio State graduates, with an average annual income one year after graduation of about $ 60,000, rising to about $ 80,000 five years after graduation, according to the US Census Bureau .


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