STEM offers best array of jobs for millennials
The bulk of in-demand and well-paid jobs are in the field of science, math, engineering or technology, according to marketwatch.com.
That does not mean there is no hope for students who are interested in the arts, such as communication and education.
Rutgers career fairs include a diverse range of recruiters, according to William Jones, director of Operations and Special Initiatives. This year had a record number of 306 employers.
“Sixty-six percent were hiring for technical positions while 71 percent were hiring for non-technical positions. These employers represented a diverse group of industries with 54 percent being major agnostic (meaning they don’t have a preference and are open to all majors),” he said in an email.
Areas of growth continue to be in the technology and healthcare sectors. Demand is increasing across the board, Jones said. Two-thirds of employers are expecting to increase their starting salaries according to a report conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers.
With the growth of certain science fields also comes competition.
"I'm studying pharmacy and I constantly hear my professors tell me that the market is over-saturated and competitive,” said Evelyn Abramson, an Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy junior.
Some cannot take this pressure, but for others, it drives them further.
“On the one hand it pushes me to be the best pharmaceutical job candidate I can be, on the other hand it makes me want to quit college and start my own sheep farm in Mexico,” Abramson said.
While the economic climate continues to improve, it is always going to be competitive, which is why students must prepare early, Jones said.
“Waiting until your senior year just makes it even more challenging. Employers tell us time and again that if the candidates do not have relevant experience then they are not being competitive for the job market,” he said.
He recommends that students utilize the resources on campus. These include career fairs, on-campus interviews, career assistance appointments and more. The services provided to students come as part of their tuition compared to alumni who utilize private career coaching services, Jones said.
For graduating students, preparing yourself to enter the job market is the most crucial part of getting a successful job, said Janet Jones, director of Employer Relations.
“Familiarize yourself with the interview process by preparing strong responses that draw on your work experience, leadership and course work. Present examples from your experiences that support skills that the job requires,” she said.
Cultivating your network online and offline is critical, Jones said.
“Your LinkedIn profiles should present your professional brand. Attend as many live networking events to connect with employers, alums, and faculty (or) staff. Practice your ‘elevator pitch’ in these informal gatherings to help refine your communication skills,” she said.
She said to follow up with those you interact with during the job search process, as this is one of the best ways to differentiate yourself amongst the competition. When doing so, Jones said to reiterate your skills and interest in the position or organization.
The top industries that Rutgers 2015 graduates went to were education, healthcare, engineering, financial services, computers, consulting, sciences, retail and wholesale and accounting, according to a survey.
Jones said the best job is not necessarily about what is the most achievable or highest in pay.
“While recent data published by the U.S. Department of Education places Rutgers on an elite list of public institutions with graduates making above the national salary average, starting salaries are not everything,” he said.
Millennials want to live comfortably, but they also highly value a balance between work and life, he said.
“Discover your passion then find out how to make money with it, if a high salary is what you truly value,” Jones said.
While investment bankers tend to make lots of money, if students do not like working 60 to 70 hours a week then the money will not be worth it, Jones said.
“There is a way to make money with any passion or interest,” he said.
If students are passionate about education, they can go to graduate school and study to become a principal and make high five to six figure salaries.
If students are musicians but do not want to live off of a musician’s salary, they can do something else in the music industry such as public relations for the New York Philharmonic, Jones said.
“Following your passion is what is most important, let it lead you to what you value,” he said.