Career advice: High-tech, healthcare best choices for college students
College students considering a field of study should forget about becoming a lawyer and focus on homing their high-tech skills, according to a recent survey of human resources executives who said they believe computer science and engineering careers would be the most fruitful post recession.
"The trend toward 'green' technologies is creating jobs in engineering and computer science," said John Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, in a statement. "The areas recommended by human resource executives, while appearing to be relatively specialized on the surface actually provide future graduates with a great amount of flexibility to pursue careers in a wide range of fields that are emerging now or could emerge over the next two decades."
The survey, conducted in August by outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, polled 150 HR executives about which college career paths would most likely land jobs in a few years, when presumably the economy is well on its way to recovery. Given 11 options from which to choose, 16% of HR respondents said college students should pursue a career in IT/computer science and 15.2% suggested engineering studies as a successful career route. About 14% indicated a focus in medicine would guarantee a job, and about 9% suggested studying accounting to ensure work post graduation.
"Certain areas in the healthcare sector are having trouble filling positions due to a lack of skilled candidates," Challenger stated.
Other university majors such as liberal arts and pharmaceutical drew 8.5% and 8% of HR executives' vote. General business studies were the choice for 6.4% of those polled, while marketing/advertising/public relations garnered about 4% of responses. Government/public service positions also drew about 4% of responses.
"Despite the increasing need for replacement workers, the government is doing little to streamline the hiring process or improve its image when it comes to being a great place to work," Challenger said.
Near the bottom of the list, only 2.2% of the HR executives polled suggested college students should pursue a career in HR, and 1.4% said they believed law would garner a successful career post-graduation.