“What do I do after college / university?”
This is a question asked by many students upon graduation. The combination of trepidation, excitement, fear of the unknown and the realisation that the time has come to get a job and earn a living can be overwhelming. There are always jobs to be had but depending on what expectations are – enter the property market by 30, pay off a student loan, take a year off to travel the world – a new graduate needs some sort of plan.
This brings us to the next question – “Will a specific degree secure good career opportunities?” The short answer is yes. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons of choosing a field of study, and parents will also have some say. The ideal (and difficult) choice is a happy balance between loving what you do and making a good living out of it.
These are the seven most employable degrees in the job market today:
Economics isn’t just about financial matters. It encompasses politics, current affairs, statistics, geography, analytical thinking and the state of society in general. Economics graduates are in high demand in the job market and usually work in banking, government, accountancy, insurance, consulting for corporates and NGOs, and marketing.
The world is constantly moving forward with technology becoming more sophisticated and prevalent in daily life. A computer science degree includes aspects of mathematics, computer systems, engineering, software design and programming. The jobs available are in burgeoning fields like mobile app development, cyber security, artificial intelligence, video game development and robotics.
The world is governed by laws and regulations and a law degree is one of the most popular among students and their parents! Studying law and practising it are two very different things, which is why many graduates don’t actually become lawyers. A law degree does open many doors in academia, civil service, politics, banking, media or running a business.
A typical mathematics degree encompasses applied maths, pure maths and statistics; and is usually a prelude to a career that may not have much to do with the subject itself. Most graduates get jobs in finance, banking (retail and investment), teaching, academia, accountancy and government (statistics).
This is a very wide subject covering many industries, and courses are based on specific fields, e.g. aerospace, biomedical, civil, mechanical, environmental, electronic, petroleum, chemical. The demand for engineering graduates is high with jobs in oil and gas, telecommunications, automotive, defence, new energies, infrastructure and transport readily available worldwide.
Medicine and dentistry
Another parent favourite, medicine and dentistry degrees last longer and cost more, but job success is almost guaranteed and entering private practice means a good salary. The most important aspect of pursuing these degrees is to be able to help people, save lives and maybe even get into research and teaching. This is also a field which offers the opportunity to work anywhere in the world.
Of all the job-worthy degrees, education is in very high demand globally but doesn’t pay as much. To become a teacher, choose an undergraduate degree that includes teacher training and it’s also advisable to have an idea if you want to teach in primary or secondary school. Other job opportunities include education consultant, guidance counsellor, curriculum design, media, education policy adviser (government or NGO) and PR.