When the state of the economy deteriorates, the key question resonating in government circles is what should be the right mix of public measures to bring back growth, increase business profits and spur national productivity. Economists often talk about “structural unemployment” when there is a mismatch between demand in the labor market and the skills and locations of job seekers. To boost your odds of landing a job right out of college, seek guidance before selecting you degree program, making sure it fits with your prior education, career prospect and personality.
For a degree to be right for you, it has to be in sync with your current or prior academic background. That way, you don’t end up spending more time trying to catch up with educational requirements that are needed for a specific program. For example, if you major in humanities in high school but now want to pursue a math concentration in college, your academic counselor might require that you take additional courses to close the academic gap shown on your scorecard. You might end up taking extensive pre-college training in specific courses like advanced algebra, calculus and statistics – which is not a bad thing if a science major is truly where you’re veering, education-wise.
The professional field in which you want to work may affect the degree program you pursue. Some jobs do not entail an academic component – say, a bachelor’s degree – but employers may require that applicants possess extensive practical experience to compensate for the lack of degree. Before deciding which degree is proper for you, talk to your academic counselor or, better, a human resources manager or professional association representative. Receiving guidance from someone who is in tune with industry developments and job trends is a smart move, especially if the field you are targeting is constantly fluctuating. For example, if you want to be a computer programmer, seek insight from an industry connoisseur about what skills are in demand, who is hiring, and where the hiring trend is headed. The expert might tell you, for example, to seek a degree in computer science but to take additional classes in everything revolving around specific courses, such as e-commerce, information technology infrastructure and cloud computing.
Choose an academic major that is in sync with your personality. The last thing you want is to opt for a specialty that is miles away from your unique set of skills and behavioral traits. When psychologists talk about behavioral traits, they refer to everything a person or animal does automatically – in other words, that is “nature,” or what is genetically acquired, as opposed to “nurture.” Your personality will affect your skill sets and natural bent for certain tasks, which in turn will affect how you perform on a specific job. For example, if you are an introvert type, a position requiring public speaking or extensive human interaction might not be suitable with your skill set and personality.