The Folly of “College and Career Ready”

Lower School students after their trip on the Clearwater. They enter the job market in 2026 and beyond

Lower School students after their trip on the Clearwater. They enter the job market in 2026 and beyond

For those of you who concerned about our children’s future – and I would think that includes all of us – there was an interesting article in Fast Company magazine:  These are the Top Jobs for College Graduates in 2015.

Apparently job prospects for new college graduates are looking up according to the most recent report from Michigan State University’s Collegiate Employment Research Institute(CERI).

It’s a survey of  over 5,000 companies indicating that employers are hiring college graduates at levels not seen since the dot-com boom in 1999-2000.

The author digs into it  little further and finds some interesting data about pay, job satisfaction and the sense of doing meaningful work.

The employers surveyed expect to hire 120,000 new graduates this year, 78% of whom will have just earned bachelor’s degrees.

Industries with double-digit growth were pulled out and further analyzed by job titles that are expected to have high growth through 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The analysis identifies the highest salaries, as well as the most job satisfaction and meaning.

The  breakdown of the top jobs for college graduates according to those factors is:

Top Salaries
(by entry-level median pay)

  1. Associate Investment Banker $73,829
  2. User Experience Designer $67,532
  3. Front End Developer/Engineer $61,653
  4. Biomedical Engineer $60,752
  5. Forensic Accountant $60,397
  6. Clinical Research Associate (CRA) $59,068
  7. Administrator $59,050
  8. Web Analyst $56,285
  9. Energy Analyst $54,204
  10. Product Marketing Specialist $53,488

Top Jobs By Percentage Growth

  1. Product Marketing Specialist 31.6%
  2. Business Development Associate 31.6%
  3. Process Analyst 26.7%
  4. Biomedical Engineer 26.6%
  5. Web Analyst 24.5%

Top Jobs By Job Satisfaction

  1. Web Analyst 81.25%
  2. Biomedical Engineer 79.66%
  3. Product Marketing Specialist 78.38%
  4. Administrator 75%
  5. Process Analyst 74.19%

The Most Meaningful Jobs

  1. Clinical Research Associate
  2. Energy Analyst
  3. Biomedical Engineer
  4. User Experience Designer
  5. Food Technologist

Biomedical engineer is the only job that scores on all four criteria.

So what does that mean? How many of those jobs existed 5, 10 and 15 years ago when current graduates were in school? Should we now be training students for those careers? Are we sure what we can know which jobs will score highly in 5, 10 or 15 years?

A better approach is an education that prepares students to be life ready. There’s a pretty clear consensus that has emerged about what that means in terms of creative thinking and emotional and intellectual capacities. You can read more about our take on this in our Strategic Plan.

But what do you think? As always we love to hear your ideas and opinions.


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