For University of Maryland seniors, the relief of graduation is often coupled with anxiety over what's to come.
While most students know their long-term career prospects are brighter with a degree than without, high youth unemployment — the New York Times cites an unemployment rate of 17 percent for Americans between the ages of 16 and 29 — means current seniors are entering one of the most competitive entry-level job markets in recent history.
Personal finance website WalletHub recently released its 2016 rankings for the best and worst entry-level jobs — and some areas of study fared better than others.
The list promises a bright future for the 5,977 Maryland students studying in the A. James Clark School of Engineering. Eleven of the top 25 jobs fall under some form of engineering specialty, with general engineer, systems engineer and environmental, health and safety engineer ranking at one, two and five respectively.
Maryland's 2,197 computer science majors should be optimistic as well. Web applications developer ranked fourth on the list, while software engineer ranked eighth. Both web developer and web designer tied for third on the list of entry-level positions with the fastest projected job growth by 2024.
One of the more surprising results on the list is where the various business-related positions fell. Financial analyst came in at 21, while accountant came in at 75. And, while ranking 59th on the general list, accounting clerk ranked 106th on the speed of job growth by 2024 list. That comes as perhaps a relief for the 1,010 finance majors in the Robert H. Smith School of Business, but some added uneasiness for its 771 accounting majors.
The 254 students studying multiplatform journalism at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism should be pleasantly surprised by how well the "web writer" job performed, cracking the top 20 at number 19. Broadcast-related positions were not among those listed.
Some other interesting tidbits from the list:
- Certified occupational therapist topped the list for fastest projected job growth by 2024, great news for Maryland’s 983 kinesiology majors.
- Four of the top five highest starting salaries are related to legal work
- Maryland’s few (45) geology majors will be happy to hear that two geology-related positions, geophysicist and geologist, tied for third in terms of income growth potential. Both ranked 25th and 48th in the overall list.
- The worst entry-level jobs? Welder and floor-assembler.
- College teaching assistants round out the list with the lowest starting salary.