After Graduation: Where This Year’s Grads Will Find Jobs

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With graduation season in everyone’s rear-view mirror, the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) annual survey found that more than a third of consumers gave grads cards, set aside some cash or splurged on new electronics for the high school and college grads in their lives. The data shows that graduation gifts have not changed much in the last 10 years—most of today’s grads expected a card and some cash or a gift card to help them prep for the next phase in their lives. However, what has changed is the type of jobs and careers those exiting school and entering the workforce are considering.

Using national data from Emsi, NRF’s research team dug a little deeper to gain some insights into who these students are and what career opportunities they’re considering. The top three degree programs for graduating seniors are business, health and liberal arts degrees, with over 1.7 million graduates between them; these programs also account for over 40 percent of all graduates in 2017. They will continue to be pillars of the U.S. higher education system, but looking to the 10-year growth trend in degree programs provides a different perspective.

Looking at the top 10 fastest-growing degree programs over the last 10 years, there is a significant representation of STEM fields. In fact, seven of the 10 fastest-growing occupations are in STEM (precision production, science technologies, mathematics, health professions, engineering, computer science and biological fields).

Check out this graphic which takes a look at the largest and fastest growing degree programs in the 10-year period of 2007 to 2017. Click on the tabs at the top of the chart below for an interactive view of the data.

Click here to read the full story from the NRF.