Most academic majors see unemployment rates decrease

5 years 1 week 10 hours ago Friday, February 20 2015 Feb 20, 2015 Friday, February 20, 2015 3:24:00 PM CST February 20, 2015 in News
By: Genevieve Reaume, KOMU 8 Reporter

COLUMBIA - Two of the most popular academic majors are falling behind the others in terms of unemployment rates.

A Georgetown report was released that explains the difference in salaries of different majors. The report was mostly positive and noted that in almost every industry studied, the unemployment rates were lowering. Every industry increased their employment numbers except two: health professions and communications/journalism. 

Both of these areas fall in the top 10 most popular majors.

Communications/journalism was the only area to actually see an increase in the rate of unemployment, to 8.2 percent. Health professions, on the other hand, showed a stagnant unemployment rate of six percent.

Kendra Schmidt is a senior at the University of Missouri and will graduate with a nursing degree, the most popular major under the health major group, in May. She has yet to find a job.

"It's scary," Schmidt said. "It's exciting but scary at the same time."

Nursing is a female-dominated industry, but even so, women still make about $8,000 less a year than the men in the field. This fact doesn't surprise Schmidt.

"Sometimes men can be more desirable, especially on more critical floors where they tend to have heavier patients, because they do seem to be stronger," Schmidt said. "At least in my experience, I''ve noticed a lot of men acquiring managerial positions over women candidates, so that could be also part of the pay difference."

The median income for a nursing major is $60,000.

Even though the unemployment rate is stagnant in nursing, every single student who majored in something under the health category has a 97 percent chance or better at being employed. 98 percent of nurses who majored in nursing are employed.

Schmidt said she isn't worried.

"We came out as the number one nursing school in the country last year," Schmidt said. "I hope at least some of the hospitals I'll be applying to will recognize that."

Other majors that ranked highest in popularity include the following: general business, accounting, psychology and elementary education. Of the top ten, the highest median salary was computer science with the median salary being $75,000. The lowest was elementary education coming in at $40,000.

For journalism/communications majors, the median income is $50,000.

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