Which college majors are best weathering COVID-19 ?
From 35% decrease in employment in the culinary arts to less than 3% for actuarial science majors, workers experienced very different outcomes depending on their majors.
Ididio connects choosing a college, a major, and a career to help you create an
In the age of COVID-19, graduates are facing a daunting jobs scene and a disappointing
college scene. For those with time to pivot, perhaps it’s worth seeing which majors
have weathered this pandemic well. There are some results that are unlikely to surprise
you -- now is not the time for that culinary or performance degree to pay off, and
health care jobs are steady -- but there may be some surprises across the disciplines. This
is a great time to have studied library or actuarial science!
Check out your favorite major in the chart or table below. The dots to the left represent
majors whose alumni lost the most
jobs during this pandemic, and the largest dots represent the largest groups of graduates.
College majors by change in employment
Hover over or long-press a dot to see the major, and click on or touch a dot to head to Ididio’s program page.
2020 BLS Current Employment
2017 ACS microdata
All college majors
Selecting a major will take you to Ididio’s program page.
Unfortunately, monthly employment data is typically available by
industry rather than by career or major, so we had to get a bit creative to estimate the
change in employment.
We began with our aggregations from the American Community Survey. With
a few exceptions, we’re able to classify each bachelor’s-holder surveyed by major and
by a 3-digit NAICS industry identification. In some cases, the 2-digit classification is all that is
available, and in a few cases a hybrid designation is assigned.
For each ACS degree designation, we calculated the percentage of workers within
each industry classification as described above. We also calculated a distribution
for the education attained and the 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th, and 90th salary percentiles for each
ACS major designation.
We then used recently released data from the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s (BLS) Current
Employment Statistics program to calculate the percentage of employment change
from April 2019 to April 2020 by the 2- and 3-digit NAICS classifications. We chose April because
in more recent months the overall employment picture has recovered for most workers.
In our final step, we combined the BLS employment data with the ACS survey data. For
each major designation, we used the percentage within each industry classification
as weights to average the percentage of employment change calculated using the BLS
data. For the few industry designations that did not match the 2- and 3-digit NAICS
data from the BLS, we simply omitted those workers from our calculation.