As many who entered the labor market following the Great Recession know all too well, graduating with a college degree does not mean you’ll easily fall into a good career. Four-year college graduates with entry-level jobs actually earned more in 2000 than they’re earning today and student loan debt burdens are higher than ever.
Does this mean you should skip college or drop-out? Not necessarily. Unemployment is still lower for those with undergraduate and higher degrees. However, understanding the economics behind the labor market will make finding a career a more manageable task.
The labor market in the United States has undergone many changes in the past few decades. Whereas we once had many manufacturing jobs that required little training or specialized skills, the labor market today demands more people who can work with computers and information technology.
Choosing a good career requires planning beyond getting a college education. You’ll want to carefully consider the career options available for your major, as well any specialized skills you’ll need to build outside of the classroom.
It’s also essential to understand how supply and demand affect your career options. How many people are also choosing that major vs. how many employers are looking for those skills? Is a particular career path susceptible to being replaced by a machine? What about outsourcing in the global labor market? What about laws and regulation – does it require an occupational license?
There’s a lot to think about! Choosing a career is a huge decision and understanding how supply and demand rule the labor market will help you better navigate your future.
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