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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. These liberals are out of control. They want to drive our economy into the ground and double and triple our electric bills. Sierra Club, stay out of Indy!

  2. These activist liberal judges have gotten out of control. Thankfully we have a sensible supreme court that overturns their absurd rulings!

  3. Maybe they shouldn't be throwing money at the IRL or whatever they call it now. Probably should save that money for actual operations.

  4. For you central Indiana folks that don't know what a good pizza is, Aurelio's will take care of that. There are some good pizza places in central Indiana but nothing like this!!!

  5. I am troubled with this whole string of comments as I am not sure anyone pointed out that many of the "high paying" positions have been eliminated identified by asterisks as of fiscal year 2012. That indicates to me that the hospitals are making responsible yet difficult decisions and eliminating heavy paying positions. To make this more problematic, we have created a society of "entitlement" where individuals believe they should receive free services at no cost to them. I have yet to get a house repair done at no cost nor have I taken my car that is out of warranty for repair for free repair expecting the government to pay for it even though it is the second largest investment one makes in their life besides purchasing a home. Yet, we continue to hear verbal and aggressive abuse from the consumer who expects free services and have to reward them as a result of HCAHPS surveys which we have no influence over as it is 3rd party required by CMS. Peel the onion and get to the root of the problem...you will find that society has created the problem and our current political landscape and not the people who were fortunate to lead healthcare in the right direction before becoming distorted. As a side note, I had a friend sit in an ED in Canada for nearly two days prior to being evaluated and then finally...3 months later got a CT of the head. You pay for what you get...

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