Arts, humanities, architecture degrees have highest unemployment, study says

Recent college graduates with degrees in arts, humanities and architecture are experiencing higher rates of joblessness, according to a study.

Georgetown University researchers studied recent census data and found nationwide that recent grads with architecture degrees had the highest unemployment rate at 13.9 percent.

"Architecture is the victim of the latest economic collapse," said Anthony Carnevale, with the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. "Construction collapsed, housing markets collapsed. That's where architects work in main."

The study also identified recent grads finding the most success in the job market. Those with degrees in health, education agriculture and natural resources have the lowest levels of unemployment.

"Only three cents of every dollar you spend on food goes to farmers," Carnevale said. "Ninety-seven cents goes to agribusiness which is distribution, marketing, packaging and a whole series of transactions related to food."

In today's economy, many current students say it's crucial for college freshmen to consider the job market before deciding on a major.

"Most people are going to look for where there are opportunities," said Georgetown student Michael Thomson.

But others say first and foremost, students should pursue their passions.

"So long as you're happy at what you're doing, money isn't everything," said Georgetown staff member Barbara Dortch.

Carnevale agrees, but says he thinks students should know what they're getting into first.

"You're really talking about what you're going to do every day after breakfast for the next 45 years after you graduate," Carnevale said. "Don't just pick a major that will pay you money because that won't work out for you. But I think it is important to know what your prospects are. Only then can you figure out how you can do what you want to do."

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