Health and education majors, you’re least likely to be unemployed…and that’s not really good news

by Ryan Streeter on August 23, 2012. Follow Ryan on Twitter.

If you majored in a health-related field or education while in college, your employment prospects are the best around. That’s the good news. The bad news is that you’re part of the problem with what’s wrong with our economy right now.

The first of those two claims comes from an interesting new study by the Indiana Business Research Center. It looked at a large sample of Indiana residents’ employment situations by their post-secondary degree choice. A summary:

Hoosier graduates from Indiana’s public postsecondary colleges and universities who majored in biology/life science, health or education typically had the lowest unemployment rates. On the other hand, the graduates majoring in architecture, industrial arts/consumer services and engineering had the highest chances of becoming unemployed. The unemployment experience of Hoosiers was more closely aligned with one’s academic major than with the degree level or industry of former employment.

It’s sort of surprising that engineering graduates fared worse than liberal arts majors (read the study). But the main point is that education and health majors do the best at keeping their jobs. Not only this, if they lose their job, they find a new one faster than people with other majors.

For my 2nd claim above why this isn’t just a good thing, read Nick Schulz and Arnold Kling’s essay here. The point is that healthcare and education are the fastest growing sectors of our economy, but one of the reasons for that is that they are the most government-controlled and regulated. It’s never good when government-supported industries are the fastest growing.