New study shows architecture, arts degrees yield highest unemployment
Peter Whoriskey, The Washington Post
College kids may choose to spend their campus days studying the glories of Plato, Shakespeare and Le Corbusier.
But, as a new study points out, there may be a steep price to pay.
Recent college graduates with bachelor’s degrees in the arts, humanities and architecture experienced significantly higher rates of joblessness, according to a study being released Wednesday by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce.
Among recent college graduates, those with the highest rates of unemployment had undergraduate degrees in architecture (13.9 percent), the arts (11.1 percent) and the humanities (9.4 percent), according to the study.
The recent college graduates with the lowest rates of unemployment had degrees in health (5.4 percent), education (5.4 percent), and agriculture and natural resources (7 percent.) Those with business and engineering degrees also fared relatively well.
“People keep telling kids to study what they love — but some loves are worth more than others,” said Anthony P. Carnevale, one of the study’s authors. “When people talk about college, there are all these high-minded ideas about it making people better citizens and participating fully in the life of their times. All that’s true, but go talk to the unemployed about that.”
The analysis, which was based on 2009 and 2010 data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, comes amid an increasing debate over the value of college education as an economic investment. Over the past two decades, the average amount of debt a student takes on has roughly doubled in real terms, leading to greater scrutiny of the financial returns of college.