Special Report

College Majors With the Lowest Unemployment

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25. Public policy
> Unemployment rate: 1.7%
> Avg. salary: $89,761
> Undergrad degree holders with a master’s or professional degree or higher: 49.6%
> Undergrad degree holders in labor force: 42,627

Public policy majors study large-scale problems, potential policies that aim to address them, and the efficacy of such policies. The major combines elements of both political science and economics, and students who select it may choose to concentrate in any number of areas, including resource management, homeland security, or local government.

Just 1.7% of the more than 42,600 labor force participants who majored in public policy are unemployed. Like most majors that lead to relatively secure occupations, public policy majors often continue their education after college. About half of all working public policy majors have a professional, master’s, or doctorate degree.

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24. Medical technologies technicians
> Unemployment rate: 1.6%
> Avg. salary: $54,038
> Undergrad degree holders with a master’s or professional degree or higher: 21.8%
> Undergrad degree holders in labor force: 193,273

Those who study to become a medical technologies technician are among the least likely to be unemployed upon entering the labor force. Jobs in the field typically entail interacting with patients, collecting specific bodily fluids for analysis and testing, inputting findings data, and notifying medical staff when immediate treatment is necessary.

Unemployment among those who majored in the field as undergraduates is just 1.6% — and may fall even lower as demand for medical technologies technicians is projected to increase at double the rate for all occupations in the United States over the next decade.

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23. Electrical, mechanical, and precision technologies and production
> Unemployment rate: 1.6%
> Avg. salary: $58,706
> Undergrad degree holders with a master’s or professional degree or higher: 21.7%
> Undergrad degree holders in labor force: 20,114

Electrical, mechanical, and precision technologies and production is one of several highly specialized areas of undergraduate studies where degree holders are among the least likely to be out of work. Many who earn their degree in this field go on to work as automotive mechanics, aircraft technicians, welders, and industrial machinery workers.

There are just over 20,000 people in the labor force who majored in electrical, mechanical, and precision technologies and production — and only about 1.6% of them are unemployed.

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22. Forestry
> Unemployment rate: 1.6%
> Avg. salary: $48,529
> Undergrad degree holders with a master’s or professional degree or higher: 25.8%
> Undergrad degree holders in labor force: 66,633

Forestry majors study aspects of borth environmental conservation and management to prepare for jobs that involve analysis of forest growth and preservation. Of the more than 66,600 Americans in the labor force who studied forestry, only 1.6% are unemployed.

Like many undergraduate degree programs that lead to relatively secure jobs, forestry majors often further their education after graduation. About one in every four members of the labor force with an educational background in forestry have a professional, master’s, or doctoral degree.

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21. Agriculture production and management
> Unemployment rate: 1.6%
> Avg. salary: $59,255
> Undergrad degree holders with a master’s or professional degree or higher: 14.9%
> Undergrad degree holders in labor force: 122,874

Agriculture production and management prepares students for careers in both the labor and management of agricultural operations, equipping them with the skills needed to run a farm. Areas of study can include quality management, supply chain management, inventory control, and equipment operation.

Though unemployment for those who study agriculture production and management is now low, it may not always be. New technologies are giving way to consolidation of farming operations in the United states, and over the next decade, demand for farmers, ranchers, and agricultural managers is projected to decline by 6%.

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