The Most Desirable Majors, According to Future Employers
If the trajectory holds, 543,000 businesses will be born in the United States this month. The 6.5 million businesses established over the course of the year range from board game cafes to coworking spaces to ethical clothing brands to accounting firms. And as these companies grow, they are looking to hire people fresh out of college. In fact, employers report that 60 percent of their new hires in the last year were new graduates.
According to the Job Outlook 2019 survey, published by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), business and technical majors make up the first string, the starting players. After 172 employers identified the majors they hire the most, NACE put together a list of the most desirable college majors. Of the top 10, five of them fall under the umbrella of business, and finance and accounting are the most desirable of the set.
Here is the NACE’s official list:
- Mechanical engineering
- Computer science
- Business administration/management
- Electrical engineering
- Information science
- Logistics/supply chain
- Management information systems
- Computer engineering
Of course, this is only useful information for students who actually enjoy these subjects. If you’re after purposeful work and job satisfaction, then choosing a major on hireability alone isn’t going to cut it. But it can help you weigh your options when the interest is already there.
Finding that “Special Sauce” in a World of Look-alikes
For a college grad, the world of business has a lot of appeal. It’s a dynamic workplace full of opportunities to change roles within a company and learn new skills. It’s an environment where new jobs are constantly being created.
However, just because the demand is high doesn’t mean competition is low or that employers are lowering the bar when it comes to finding qualified candidates. Many companies would rather endure a talent shortage than hire someone they’d have to train.
The best way to set yourself apart from the masses and meet employer qualifications is to prove to employers that you know your stuff. If you’re an aspiring accountant, actuary or CFA, that “special sauce” could be your ability to pass the formidable CPA, CFA or actuarial exams (buckle up, future FSAs and FCASs). If you’re an aspiring chief technology officer, consultant, investment banker or marketing manager, it could be your ability to get into a top graduate school.
So, future college students, while you’re out there looking at colleges, pay attention to what business grads go on to do. If you were to examine Gordon alumni, for instance, you’d find that our CPA pass rate is almost twice the national average. On LinkedIn, you’d see we had graduates attend Yale School of Management and Harvard Business School in the last five years. When comparing schools and even major programs, it really helps to do some research. Compare CPA pass rates, graduate school acceptances, and see which companies attend on-campus job fairs for the purpose of recruiting new graduates.
Gain Access to Innovation Hubs
In addition to evaluating what kind of education you’ll get at a specific college or university, it helps to know the advantages and disadvantages of where a college is located—simply because that’s where the real-life opportunities are. When a college is in close proximity to a major innovation hub like San Francisco, New York City or Boston, you can intern with companies that are doing big things in the world.
For one semester last year, business administration and psychology major Sabrina Chueh ’20 took the train into Boston with the shuffle of sleepy morning commuters for her internship at a bustling PR and creative agency. Chueh was only a junior in college and yet she was responsible for creating social media content for some pretty major companies, like Primark, Ocean Spray and Life is Good.
Many of us have had cranberry juice in our fridge and sweaters in our closet because of these companies—and here Sabrina was crafting messages to reach audiences of more than six million people. It was empowering.
Being 25 miles from Boston and only a mile and a half from the nearest commuter rail stop, Gordon is close enough for students to intern with companies like State Street, KPMG, VMware and MassPay.
Although virtual internships do exist, most of the internships out there require a student who can show up in person. So, it’s worth researching which companies are within reach of a college campus. Because many internships lead to job offers after graduation, it’s a good idea to intern with a company you’d like to work for someday.
A Good, Long Track Record
Although the list of most desirable majors is bound to change, as it does every year, business-related majors tend to stay in the running. Right now, they’re on a pretty good streak. They’ve been on this list for well over a decade.
In two and a half months, 49 Gordon students will graduate with degrees in finance, accounting, economics and business administration. Many more will have added minors in business administration, innovation and social enterprise or concentrations in international business, marketing and management. Most, if not all, of them will start out as someone’s employee. But one day, perhaps not too far in the future, they will be on the other side of NACE’s annual job outlook survey. They will be starting businesses, creating new jobs and selecting the next round of most desirable college majors. Maybe you or someone you know will work for one of them some day.
To further investigate the most desirable majors listed above, read the full Job Outlook 2019 survey put together by the National Association of Colleges and Employers.