A College Degree is More Important Than Ever As Jobs Vanish

Many recent college graduates are having a hard time finding work in a weakened employment market but job hunters without degrees are still in a much worse situation. While many majors and degrees have fallen victim to the declining labor demand in the general economy, there are still a few academic specializations that are enjoying job and wage growth.

The hardest hit employment sector is also the one requiring the least formal education. While construction does require very specific skills and knowledge, much of this is learned on the job as an apprentice or as a child working on the family house with a parent. So although no college education is required, there are also no jobs available. Other job markets requiring physical work are also facing a flood of new applicants as construction activity declines and more jobs are cut there. Even though the available positions are declining, shipping, service, and agricultural sectors are receiving more applications than ever.

Some of the lost jobs are helping to increase demand in education itself and that means that teaching is one of the few job markets that is still growing. As more students head to school to learn new skills, everything from college to kindergarten needs to hire more staff. Of course, if you want to be a teacher, youll need to acquire a degree in the field you want to work in or something related.

In the IT field, the need for a degree is clear as well: Many basic computer operations functions are being automated or outsourced, but demand is still growing for highly educated programmers with advanced development experience. Potential employees who only understand the basics of running a computer may have a hard time finding work but people who know how to build their own software applications and computer functions can bring value to growing companies.

And finally, the fastest growing job market is one that most explicitly requires a college degree. Health and medical services are in high demand due to demographic shifts to an older population, and this trend will be accelerating for many more years. Doctors and nurses must complete rigorous and technical education programs, but they are rewarded with more opportunities for high paying work.