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Hard Times

Despite hard times for recent graduates, college is still worth it.

Much attention has been devoted to the 9 percent unemployment among recent college graduates, leading some to conclude that college is no longer worth it. In Hard Times, we argue that college remains the best alternative for young workers with one caveat: Not all majors are created equal. Some majors offer substantially better employment prospects than others.

  • Choice of major substantially affects employment prospects and earnings.

  • People who make technology are better off than people who use technology.

  • In general, majors that are linked to occupations have better employment prospects than majors focused on general skills. But, some occupation specific majors, such as Architecture, were hurt by the recession and fared worse than general skills majors.

Hard Times Presentation

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  • Synopsis
  • Key Findings
  • PPP
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Fun Fact

Our research on jobs focuses on the historic and future labor market supply and labor market demand for education.

Learn More