This article accompanies School Daze.
Human Resources ranked 20th on the list of Top Entry-Level Majors, according to a survey by CollegeGrad.com.
Employers were asked to rank criteria in order of importance for hiring consideration and asked to break down their number of projected hires by major.
While no single engineering degree made it into the Top 5, collectively, engineering majors came in at No. 2, and will account for nearly 13 percent of entry-level hires in 2008, the last year the survey data appears on the CollegeGrad Web site. The top engineering degree was electrical engineering at 3.5 percent, followed closely by mechanical engineering at 3.2 percent.
Why are these highly skilled degrees so employable? Positions in industries such as accounting and engineering require a defined skill set, typically met only by specific majors, according to CollegeGrad.com.
For example, in 2008, the Big Four accounting firms planned to hire nearly 13,000 college grads, most of whom are accounting majors. That number is further boosted by mid-size and smaller accounting firms, banking firms, financial firms, and even non-accounting firms who hire accounting majors for in house positions. Similarly, firms such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Northrop Grumman each hire thousands of engineers each year.
In contrast, the required skill sets for general business openings are typically more diversified soft skills, and more easily filled by a variety of majors. Plenty of firms outside of the accounting and engineering fields also hire thousands of college grads, but those numbers are generally split among a variety of majors.
Top Entry Level Majors
Accounting: 22.87 percent
All Engineering: 12.59 percent
Marketing: 10.76 percent
Computer Science: 9.54 percent
Business Administration: 8.91 percent
Finance / Banking: 5.99 percent
Management: 5.53 percent
Hospitality / Hotel / Restaurant Management: 3.61 percent
Electrical Engineering: 3.45 percent
Mechanical Engineering: 3.23 percent
Communications: 3.18 percent
Information Systems / MIS: 2.91 percent
Liberal Arts / Art / Music: 2.75 percent
Civil Engineering: 2.20 percent
Psychology: 2.05 percent
Education: 1.87 percent
Chemical Engineering: 1.64 percent
Environmental Engineering: 1.47 percent
Math / Actuarial / Statistics: 1.12 percent
Human Resources: 0.90 percent
Sociology / Social Work: 0.72 percent
Biology / Biological Science: 0.56 percent
Public Relations: 0.56 percent
Criminal Justice: 0.51 percent
Chemistry: 0.50 percent
Geology / Geophysics: 0.46 percent
History: 0.44 percent
Health / Allied Health: 0.41 percent
Aeronautical Engineering: 0.41 percent
Foreign Language / Literature: 0.39 percent
Journalism: 0.36 percent
Physics: 0.25 percent
Nuclear Engineering: 0.19 percent
Agriculture / Agribusiness: 0.13 percent
Zoology: 0.06 percent
Nursing: 0.05 percent
CollegeGrad.com is an entry-level job site. Established in 1995, CollegeGrad.com has been conducting the Top Entry Level Employers Survey since 1997. A copy of the full survey is available here. It is currently compiling information on the top entry-level jobs in 2010. Employers can fill out that survey here.