Due to the nature of today's economy, many students want to be ensured they will leave college with a specific skill set to land a job. As the costs of college rise, families are beginning to question the ROI of a college degree. But it's hard to argue with majors that offer students easy access to jobs post graduation. Below these are six fields with placement rates at 100 percent or very close to it.
The field of accounting continues to be a lucrative field for graduates. Students in the Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA) program at Wake Forest University Schools of Business achieved the top pass rate in the nation on the Certified Public Accountant exam once again, according to the 2012 edition of Uniform CPA Examination Candidate Performance. Wake Forest had the highest pass rate among 793 institutions with 10 or more candidates sitting for the exam, as well as the #1 pass rate for large programs (a total of 258 institutions with more than 60 candidates.) Jack Wilkerson, senior associate dean of accountancy programs at Wake Forest says that all MSA graduates have accepted job offers prior to graduate, with many students receiving multiple offers.
With an aging nation, allied health fields across the country are booming. "Most graduates of anesthesiology assistants degree programs are guaranteed jobs with a starting salary between $120,000 and $150,000," says Robert Wagner, M.M.Sc., AA-C, a professor in the program at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Anesthesiologist assistants are highly trained allied health professionals who provide patient care under the medical direction of an anesthesiologist. With a severe shortage of anesthesia providers in Florida and the nation -- and only a handful of universities offering a degree in the field -- demand is very high. "Graduates from a 27-month program average about 10 to 15 job offers," says Wagner. Some students' tuition are even subsidized by anesthesiologist assistant groups.
Many STEM fields are hot in terms of career prospects. For example, at Lebanon Valley College in Annville, Pennsylvania, they have graduated 28 chemistry majors over the past three years. Twenty-seven of those students either found jobs in the chemistry field or were accepted into graduate school or medical school programs. The one other student took a job out of the field -- he was professional football player with the Reading Express.
Engineering placement is very strong at Western New England University in Springfield, Mass. "Our Industrial Engineering program had nine students graduate last May," says David Stawasz, assistant vice president of marketing communications. "Eight of the nine had accepted full-time engineering jobs before Christmas. The ninth began looking for a job during the Spring semester and had an offer for a full-time position before commencement."
Physical Therapy/Allied Health
Physical therapy is another hot field in allied health. The folks at Lebanon Valley College in Pennsylvania and Otterbein University in Ohio report near 100 percent job placement rates. PT is a field where applicants must pass a state licensure exam. TThis 100 percent job placement rate is based upon passing the exam. Lebanon Valley reports that they have graduated six classes and the chairperson of the department isn't "aware of a student who didn't pass the National Physical Therapy Examination and didn't have a job within six months." Otterbein offers students the opportunity to earn a BA, BS or a master's degree in allied health.
Supply Chain Management
As businesses become more complex -- more vendors, distributors, retailers -- companies are relying on graduates to understand how to manage complex supply chains, most oftentimes globally. York College of PA has launched a major in Supply Chain Operations Management that teaches students how to manage partnerships to deliver a product the most economical and efficient way possible. York College of PA reports that the first student graduated in May and this month there are five others graduating. "They all have jobs or job offers on the table," said Brenda Adams, assistant director of the MBA program at York College of Pennsylvania.
What other majors have you found to have near 100 percent placement rates?