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IU study: Health majors have best shot at jobs

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An Indiana University study has found that what people studied in college had a direct effect on their chances of employment during the Great Recession.

People with degrees in health, education and biology/life sciences had the best chance of getting and holding a job from 2009 to 2010, according to the recent study by the Indiana Business Research Center at IU's at Kelley School of Business. Only one out of every 44 graduates in those fields found themselves unemployed, according to the data.

However, the odds of employment were against those with degrees related to architecture, industrial arts, consumer service and engineering. One of every 13 graduates in those fields experienced some period of unemployment from 2009 to 2010.

The study used data from the Indiana Workforce Intelligence System to examine the employment history of 178,000 people living in Indiana who graduated from state public colleges and universities.

People with health-related majors stood the best chance of landing a job after graduation, regardless of degree level, The Herald-Times reported.

Timothy Slaper, director of economic analysis for the IU Business Research Center and a co-author of the study, said the results were fairly consistent with a similar study last year by Georgetown University.

"The more advanced the degree, the greater the chance of short-term unemployment," the IU researchers wrote. "Compared to other levels of degree attainment, sub-baccalaureate graduates had wider ranges of unemployment probability," the study added.

But industrial arts and engineering graduates often found their time without work could be relatively brief.

"What was most interesting to me was that, while those who were in engineering had a relatively high unemployment rate, in comparison to others, they also tended to find another job more quickly," Slaper said.

However, architects had both high and prolonged unemployment, which The Herald-Times said was likely related to a decline in new construction during the recession. Slaper said those jobs will likely resurface as the economy recovers.

Slaper said the study showed the importance of watching for trends in employment as the economy evolves.

"You look at the aging baby boomers and the need for more health care, you look at the Affordable Care Act and more people getting primary health care services, and that bodes well for the health care disciplines," he said.

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  1. The east side does have potential...and I have always thought Washington Scare should become an outlet mall. Anyone remember how popular Eastgate was? Well, Indy has no outlet malls, we have to go to Edinburgh for the deep discounts and I don't understand why. Jim is right. We need a few good eastsiders interested in actually making some noise and trying to change the commerce, culture and stereotypes of the East side. Irvington is very progressive and making great strides, why can't the far east side ride on their coat tails to make some changes?

  2. Boston.com has an article from 2010 where they talk about how Interactions moved to Massachusetts in the year prior. http://www.boston.com/business/technology/innoeco/2010/07/interactions_banks_63_million.html The article includes a link back to that Inside Indiana Business press release I linked to earlier, snarkily noting, "Guess this 2006 plan to create 200-plus new jobs in Indiana didn't exactly work out."

  3. I live on the east side and I have read all your comments. a local paper just did an article on Washington square mall with just as many comments and concerns. I am not sure if they are still around, but there was an east side coalition with good intentions to do good things on the east side. And there is a facebook post that called my eastside indy with many old members of the eastside who voice concerns about the east side of the city. We need to come together and not just complain and moan, but come up with actual concrete solutions, because what Dal said is very very true- the eastside could be a goldmine in the right hands. But if anyone is going damn, and change things, it is us eastside residents

  4. Please go back re-read your economics text book and the fine print on the February 2014 CBO report. A minimum wage increase has never resulted in a net job loss...

  5. The GOP at the Statehouse is more interested in PR to keep their majority, than using it to get anything good actually done. The State continues its downward spiral.

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