Your opportunities for employment post-graduation are directly correlated with the fields you pursue and the activities in which you are engaged.
Should I bother getting a college education? If this is what you are asking yourself, I suggest you re-frame the question. Ask yourself instead, “Should I bother going to college to pursue a degree that isn’t in demand?” If employment isn’t your primary concern, go for it! But, if your goal is to pay down the debt you’ll generate and pursue a field you love then there is a basic phenomenon of supply and demand at play. The article “Infographic: Which College Majors Lead To Higher Employment, Unemployment?” published by mindflash.com illustrates this beautifully.
Engineering + Art = Employment
Over half of the top 15 majors with gainful employment have the words Engineering, Science or Technology in them. These are tough disciplines requiring a strong command of math and science. You’ll be working your butt off, but the payoff is gainful employment because that’s where there’s the most growth in U.S. jobs. Of course you can go to college to pursue some deep love or passion for clinical psychology or fine arts… but don’t expect you’ll be employed. Unless you’re the BEST in your field and pursue the highest training in those fields, the demand just isn’t there. However, there is one big caveat. Add fine arts to engineering and design, be it through your major, student project experience or by serving on a cross-functional team …and chances are you’ll have to beat back employers with a stick.
Companies, small and large, are desperate for people who have strong technical domain expertise that can be made relevant to society with arts and humanities. The US economy needs innovation now more than ever and it’s the bringing together of previously disparate and siloed disciplines that holds the most promise for innovation. There are numerous programs helping students bring these disciplines together, like California Art Center for Design, Pratt School of Design and programs like ArtX, at University of Georgia which happens to be where we are training a new Student Ambassador, Gregory Wilson (twitter), and are aggressively recruiting fellow student ambassadors and reach lots more UGA students. Student Ambassadors help expose peers to invention, innovation and design through events, programs and courses. Participation in these activities expose a broader swath of students on campus to the resources on campus, experiences and learning that can better prepare students for the innovation economy.
If you don’t have a program like this or a Student Ambassador effort at your campus, apply today to get one started. You can also pursue independent studies to try and combine your love and passion of not-so-employable fields with the hard sciences by working with our Student Ambassadors.