Information and communication technologies (ICT) might not be the sexiest degree, but it turns out that doing an ICT course at university is the best choice for finding a job after graduation.
According to a new report, while only five percent of students in the 35 member countries of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) chose to study ICT, those with degrees in that area had the highest rates of employment.
The OECD’s Education at a Glance 2017 report showed that 88 percent of 25-64-year-olds who had studied ICT at a tertiary level were employed in 2016, compared to just 81 percent who had studied arts, humanities, social science or journalism.
Business administration and law were the most popular fields of study with 23 percent of young adults taking these degrees – however, the employment rate for graduates was lower than ICT at 85 percent.
The data showed that the 16 percent of people who studied engineering, manufacturing and construction could also expect to find a job – with 87 percent of graduates employed. Meanwhile, 83 percent of those with qualifications in natural sciences, mathematics and statistics had a job.
The OECD’s Education at a Glance report is released annually and tracks a wide range of educational indicators across the organisation’s members – from Australia to Mexico, the UK to Latvia.
The latest findings show that tertiary enrolment is “expanding rapidly” with “very strong returns for individuals and taxpayers”, however that universities fail to offer and individuals are not choosing fields of study that offer the greatest labour market opportunities.
“Tertiary education promises huge rewards for individuals, but education systems need to do a better job of explaining to young people what studies offer the greatest opportunities for life,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría.
The OECD’s report showed that people with tertiary degrees were 10 percentage points more likely to be employed than those without, and could expect to earn 56 percent more on average than adults who had only completed upper secondary education.
“Equitable and high-quality education fuels personal fulfilment as well as economic growth. Countries must step up their efforts to ensure that education meets the needs of today’s children and informs their aspirations for the future,” added Gurría.
Around half of the population of the OECD is expected to graduate from tertiary education at least once in their lifetime.