Much has been written about the best-paying college majors, but just as important as salaries are the odds of finding a job after college graduation, especially one that requires a college degree, hopefully matching one’s major.
Now the Federal Reserve Bank of New York has launched an interactive online feature, The Labor Market for Recent College Graduates, that can help incoming and current college students and graduates and their parents learn more about the prospects of different college majors, including unemployment and underemployment rates as well as median wages early on and in mid-career.
The data, which covers almost 75 different majors, also includes the share of graduates who go on to earn graduate degrees, which can affect job prospects as well as salaries.
“The unemployment rate and underemployment rate for college graduates has been trending down and wages are picking up in relative terms and in absolute terms versus those with no college degrees,” says Jaison Abel, research officer at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
The unemployment rate for recent college graduates was 4.9% as of September, less than half the 10% jobless rate for all young workers and down from the 7.1% peak for college grads in March 2011, according to the New York Fed.
The underemployment rate of college graduates – the share of those working in jobs that typically don’t require a college degree – was 44.1% as of September, down two percentage points from its December 2013 peak.
But beyond the overall unemployment and underemployment rates “is quite a bit of variation among different majors,” says Abel.