Choose a Career with the Best Job Prospects

Question: How do you get the philosophy major off your front porch?
Answer: Pay him for the pizza.

pizza delivery, pizza, pay the delivery man, job prospectsCollege students choose subjects to major in for a lot of reasons, not all of which have to do with job prospects after graduation:

  • They like the topic
  • It makes them happy
  • The courses are easy
  • They want to work in that field
  • Jobs in that field pay very well
  • The major is a steppingstone to graduate school

These days, with a higher education running in excess of $100,000 and up—way up—students have to choose majors that pay well. Those jobs will help them to pay off their ginormous student loans. It’s a closed loop: you get the loans to afford college so you can get a job that lets you pay off your college loans.

Careers with the Best Job Prospects

Given that the stakes are so high, young people need some guidance as to what careers offer the best job prospects  so they can keep their heads above water after graduation. Fortunately, CareerCast’s newest report Identifies Careers with the Best Job Prospects.

Just in time for the start of a new academic year, CareerCast gives us the skinny on how to get a fat paycheck four or five years from now. Here are the Top10 prospects:


CareerCast evaluated statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, trends from the Georgetown University Center of Education and the Workforce, and the National Association of Colleges and Employers. They then referenced these data against their own 2018 Jobs Rated Report, to determine the most promising fields. 

Enjoying the Bull Market  

Question: What does the English major say to the engineering major?
Answer: Do you want fries with that? 

McDonald's, fries, fast food, do you want fries with thatJob seekers currently enjoy the best employment market in a decade. The Great Recession has receded and the hiring monopsony it enabled is loosening. Some young people have re-discovered job shopping and moving from one company to another as ways to build a career and a paycheck. Some are even ghosting prospective employers to give themselves the best possible leg up.

Whether the booming economy will hold for another four years is a toss-up, though, so it never hurts to prepare.

Numerous studies have shown that college graduates do better on the work front in a number of ways: higher employment rates, bigger salaries, and more work benefits than high school graduates. That sounds like a ringing endorsement. On the dark side, however, the staggering student debt limits lifestyle choices after graduation. It may force college graduates to live with their parents—never the first choice for newly minted adults. The educationally impoverished will also delay marriage, home ownership, purchasing a good car, travel, financial independence, and other adult milestones.

Plan B for Career Choices

Question: What’s the difference between an art major and a philosophy major?
Answer: The philosophy major will ask you why you want fries with that.

learning a trade, vocational education, tradesman, job prospectsOne way to earn good money without chaining yourself to the bank is learning a trade. The lure of a college degree has drained the ranks of tradesmen and women who provide necessary and valuable services.

This trade ‘skills gap’ shows in a shortage of machinists, electricians, plumbers, and construction workers, among others. Trades offer a lot of advantages, one of which is that the military will teach you one for free. For another, your work can’t be offshored to another country. When the toilet is clogged or the furnace stops working in January, you want someone local to come put things right again.

Which trades provide the best careers? Well, I hope that CareerCast does their next report on that.