Lack Of Job Growth For Graduate Degree Holders

April 10th, 2012

Guest Blogger: Rhonda Campbell

Even in an improving economy college graduate degree holders may face job growth challenges. Reasons for the job shortages facing some graduate students are as varied as the types of advanced degrees students earn.

The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) reports that nearly 86 percent of the Master of Business Management (MBA) graduates from the Class of 2011 responding to a recent survey said they were employed. This represents a two percent drop from the 88 percent employment rate experienced by MBA graduates from the Class of 2010. Furthermore, of the 86 percent of employed 2011 graduates, about 12 percent returned to work for previous employers after they earned advanced business degrees.Two industries that didn’t experience decline in job growth were science and engineering. In fact, the National Science Foundation states in Science and Engineering Indicators 2012 report that, “While both the total and S&E employment experienced smaller growth rates in the 2000s compared to the 1990s, the trend of higher growth rates in S&E occupations relative to other jobs continues, even through the recent economic downturn.” The report continued, “S&E occupational employment has grown from 2.6% of the workforce in 1983 to 4.8% of all employment in 2010.”

College Majors Impact Job Growth for Graduate Students

Additionally, Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) job outlook handbooks show that subjects graduate students major in play a role in the amount of job opportunities students receive after they leave college. By researching job outlook handbooks and career fields, students can discover which industries, markets and jobs are expected to experience growth over the next several years.

Another factor creating a lack of job growth for 2012 graduate degree holders involves the large numbers of previous graduate students who continue to search for employment as the economy slowly recovers. As Carl Van Horn, a public policy professor at Rutgers University is reported in the September 7, 2011 Huffington Post “Jobless College Graduates Struggle Under Ongoing Recession” article as saying, “You have another class of graduates that are facing not only a difficult labor market but competition from the previous three, four and five years of young graduates also clamoring to find their way into the labor market.”

Other factors that can cause lack of job opportunities for graduate degree holders include poorly written job resumes and cover letters, ineffective job interviewing skills, lack of professional networking and/or poor networking skills. Graduate students who do not work with their college career counselors to get hired into internships or work study programs before they earn advanced degrees may also experience a lack of job opportunities.

Fortunately, the Council of Graduate Schools reported in its March 16, 2012 “Data Sources: Strong Employment Growth Expected for Graduate Degree Recipients” article that the job outlook for students holding advanced degrees is looking up. The report states, that according to BLS’ projections, “the number of jobs typically requiring a doctorate or a professional degree for entry is projected to increase by 20 percent between 2010 and 2020, and the number typically requiring a master’s degree for entry is expected to grow by 22 percent.” Of course, if previous graduates do not find jobs soon, projected available jobs may fill up quickly, competition for top paying jobs being intense.

About the Author: Rhonda Campbell is a content writer for College.com.  Rhonda enjoys writing about education topics for both accredited online colleges and campus based universities.Sources:

Huffington Post: Jobless College Graduates Struggle Under Ongoing Recession, September 7, 2011

DCJobs.com Jobs: 10 Reasons College Graduates Can’t Find a Job

National Science Foundation: Science and Engineering Indicators 2012

Council of Graduate Schools: Data Sources, Strong Employment Growth Expected for Graduate Degree Recipients

US News and World Report: Job Outlook Improving for Class of 2012

Bloomberg Businessweek: The MBAs Value? Debatable

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