If you’re considering a degree to boost your career prospects, a recent study from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) might offer some guidance on the best industries to work in – and some industries you might want to avoid.
The three toughest sectors according to EPI right now are retail, food services and accommodation construction. In each of these areas, there are now far more people looking for work than there are available jobs. Retail is no surprise, given the troubles that the internet has posed for so many retail stores in recent years. Construction is by far the worst, with an estimated 600,000 unemployed people seeking work but only 150,000 or so jobs available for the year. Of course, most construction jobs don’t require a college degree, which may be one of the reasons there are so many people seeking employment in that industry.
Best Career Hopes
Among the best industries to work in these days are health care and social services, where there are about 600,000 unemployed people but over 900,000 open jobs, and professional business services (managers, consultants and other white collar jobs), where 254,000 jobs are open but only 161,000 unemployed specialists exist in the area. Finance/insurance is another industry where there are more job openings than unemployed workers.
Other losing industries where there are far more unemployed folks that job openings at the moment include:
It’s difficult, of course, to know how these current trends will hold up over the long haul — an issue that’s important to you if you are starting a degree program that won’t have you entering the job market until four years from now. But you may want to pause before investing a great deal in a degree that will put you into an industry that’s struggling right now.
Here’s the EPI’s overall industry hiring chart: