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Top 5 Careers for the Class of 2011

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Each year, the Simmons College Career Education Center (CEC) conducts the Graduate Employment Survey, which tracks the employment status and career paths of recent Simmons baccalaureate graduates. According to the Class of 2009 data, nearly 90% of respondents employed full-time are in a position or field related to their major. A majority of those found their job within six months of graduation.

What does this mean for the Class of 2011?

According to data from the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the overall job outlook for May 2011 graduates is optimistic. Employers reported plans to hire 13.5% more new grads from the Class of 2011 than they did from the Class of 2010. In addition, another study found that hiring at the bachelor's level is expected to rise nearly 10% (vs. 3% across all hiring segments).

That's good news for this year's graduating seniors. So, where are the jobs? I asked CEC Associate Director Doug Eisenhart where he thinks Simmons grads are most likely to find employment.

Here are the top five fields:

1. Healthcare/Nursing

It's no surprise that healthcare tops the list. According to the CEC's survey, nearly 50% of the Class of 2009 is employed in healthcare, with nursing, Simmons' most popular major, leading the way. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says employment of RNs is expected to grow by 22% from 2008-2018, much faster than the average for all occupations.


Tip: The largest job growth for RNs is in outpatient facilities.

Average starting salary for nursing majors: $43,938*

Sample of recent employers: Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center


Watch video: Nursing at Simmons »


2. Communications/Media

Communications will remain a competitive field, but employers are looking for recent graduates with a strong liberal arts background. Simmons grads have the advantage here because not only does its communications program require students to complete liberal arts courses, but it also focuses on 21st Century trends, such as media convergence.


Tip: Companies are rapidly hiring candidates who are social media savvy, so brush up on your blogging and tweeting skills.

Average starting salary for public relations majors: $35,308*

Sample of recent employers: 360 Public Relations, Apple, Paramount Pictures

Learn more: Simmons' communications program »

3. Not-for-Profit

With a majority of students volunteering through the Scott/Ross Center for Community Service, Simmons graduates are no stranger to serving the greater good. Those who want a career in making a difference are in luck. Non-profit organizations are employing counselors, administrators, and social workers at a faster rate than the average for all occupations.


Tip: If you're having trouble finding a job in urban areas, try applying in smaller communities where job openings are expected to exceed the number of graduates.

Average starting salary for liberal arts majors: $35,445*

Sample of recent employers: Partners Healthcare Services, Ronald McDonald House, JumpStart


Learn more: Volunteer through the Scott/Ross Center »




4. Business/Finance

Management, economics, and related majors graduate from Simmons with the ability to work ethically and effectively in a globally competitive world. Finance jobs, such as financial analysts, accountants and auditors, and personal financial advisors, are expected to grow much faster than the average employment rate.


Tip: Many finance positions require applicants to have certain certificates such as the CFA, so if you're looking for something in this growing, competitive field, sign up for Level I and start studying.

Average starting salary for finance majors: $43,411*

Recent employers: Liberty Mutual, Lantern Financial, Geller & Co. Accountants


Learn more: Simmons has an MBA program designed specifically for women »




5. Sciences

Science students at Simmons have a unique advantage when applying for jobs. Students begin working on real research projects as early as their first year at the College, so they graduate with 3 + years of real life experience. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, biotechnological research and development is expected to grow 21% by 2018.

Tip: Those with Bachelor's and Master's degrees are expected to have more opportunities in nonscientist functions related to biology and chemistry, such as sales, marketing, publishing, and research management.

Average starting salary for chemistry majors: $40,190*

Sample of recent employers: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women's Hospital


Watch video: Simmons students turn trash into treasure »


Good luck, Class of 2011! It's evident that your Simmons degree has not only prepared you for career success, but also has a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Read: Simmons grads buck trend, find jobs.

For more information on Simmons career resources, visit the Career Education Center website or "Like" the CEC on Facebook.

Looking for a job or internship? Be sure to attend the annual Simmons Spring Career & Internship Fair on Wednesday, March 30 from 2-5 p.m. in the Linda K. Paresky Center. For the current list of registered employers, visit the CEC events page.


*Salary figures based on national average estimates from the Michigan State Collegiate Employment Research Institute report titled Recruiting Trends, 2010-2011.


Posted by Amanda Voodre
Topics: careers


About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Amanda Voodre published on March 23, 2011 1:10 PM.

Simmons alumna takes remarkable journey to support women was the previous entry in this blog.

Girls' LEAP speaks out on violence against women is the next entry in this blog.

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