Information Technology Students Get to Feel Pretty Smug

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — There was good news on the employment front as the economy generated more than 200,000 jobs in October. But for college graduates looking for jobs, it's tough even with a hard-earned diploma in hand.

According to the Center For College Affordability, about 5 million college graduates are stuck in jobs that don't even require a high school degree, and 48% of U.S. college grads are in jobs that don't require a college degree.

Some graduates are doing better than others.

One of the shortest paths to a stable, lucrative career is by targeting a career in information systems, with 61% of IT grads getting one "guaranteed" job offer, according to a study by the Association for Information Systems and Temple University's Fox School of Business covering 48 universities and 1,200 students. In it, researchers make a compelling case that an information technology degree can really pay off for college grads.

From the study:

  • 1. Overall job placement levels in the IT industry are "healthy," with an overall job placement level of 78% for those with a college degree (although the study doesn't say how long it takes to get placed).
  • 2. Undergraduate and graduate IT students fare well right out of the gate in terms of salary. Undergrads walk into technology industry jobs that pay $57,212, on average, while students with a master's degree earn, on average, $65,394 annually.
  • 3. Most IT grads find industry posts linked closely to their college degrees; 73% of new graduates find landing spots in the most common areas of information technology, financial services IT, systems analysts and business and consulting services.
  • 4. A major plurality (76%) of college students who land an IT job seem to love their jobs, while another 73% believe they'll have a long future in the industry.

Getting a job with a sheepskin and a degree that often costs more than $50,000 is not easy today. But you can increase your odds if you target your career to track where the jobs exist. Many of those jobs are in information technology — and will likely stay there for years to come.

— By Brian O'Connell

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