Students enrolled in ASU's most popular majors fare well in job market

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Arkansas State University is hosting its Spring 2014 Career Fair Tuesday and Wednesday.

Most companies are looking to hire recent graduates with education, health professions, business and engineering backgrounds.

This corresponds with the most popular majors at ASU. According to US News and World Report, education, health and business are the top three fields.

However, students with other majors that are not as lucrative in the current job market had less options.

According to the Washington Post, this has started a trend. About 70 percent of college graduates do not have a job closely related to their major.

"I would love to find something in marketing and advertising," recent graduate Hunter Thompson said. "I actually went to school for something else: theater."

Because of theater's limited job market, Thompson chose a different career path.

"It's like you have to take the hyper-specified thing that you want to do, boil it down to its most basic parts and try to find what else fits within that pool," Thompson said.

However, that transition has not been so easy.

"Most of my interview was kind of almost defending a major that I'm not interested in," Thompson said. "So it's a tricky obstacle course."

Thompson is not alone. ASU Career Center Director Dr. Markel Quarles sees many students who get jobs outside of their degrees.

"It definitely does happen," Quarles said. "We try to emphasize to the students to pay attention to and articulate the skills they have to offer."

But even if students have a wide skill set, some employers are still looking for specific degrees.

"Some of the kids that have come up to our booth, we have directed them to our website to look for other potential jobs" MODOT highway designer Tim Pickett said. "But, of course, our focus today is civil engineering."

Thompson said this is the obstacle he and other recent graduates have to overcome.

"It's no longer about the job search, it's about the living search," Thompson said.

Employers at the career fair said the three biggest things they look for in a candidate are internships, past work experience and a good attitude.

Tuesday was the "All Majors" fair and Wednesday is the "Education, Nursing and Health Professions" fair. For a complete list of the companies that will be there, visit ASU's website.

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