The 2.9 million incoming college freshmen would be wise to pick engineering, computer science or health care as their majors if they want to find good jobs when they graduate, according to a survey of human resources executives.

At the bottom of the list of degrees to pursue were law, marketing and advertising, as well as human resources, according to the survey of 150 HR executives by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

"This recession may have many freshmen second-guessing career paths," said John A. Challenger, the company's chief executive, in a press release. "Certainly those who were contemplating a future in financial services or home building may be looking for new options.

While the job market in four years is difficult to forecast, the effects of the recession may still be felt in 2013. The career paths recommended by the HR executives focused on skills that are flexible and transferable between industries.




Here are the survey results and what percentage of respondents picked each career:

  • Information technology/computer science: 16%
  • Engineering: 15.2%
  • Medicine: 14.3%
  • Other: 10.7%
  • Accounting: 8.9%
  • Liberal arts: 8.5%
  • Pharmaceutical: 8%
  • General business: 6.4%
  • Marketing/advertising/PR: 4.2%
  • Government/public service: 4.1%
  • Human resources: 2.2%
  • Law: 1.4%
The funny thing about a recommended career path is that picking a career that you're not happy in, but can find a job in, might not lead to long-term employment anyway.

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