I wanted to look at the WSJ job database, suspecting what I might find, but currently lack the bandwidth in a major way.
Fortunately, Noah took some (more) time from his thesis (“distraction from productive activity”) and did the dirty work. Apparently, being a STEM undergraduate isn’t the path to Nirvana:*
I went through the Wall Street Journal database that Phil cites, and found the following unemployment rates:
Genetics: 7.4% unemployed Biochemical Sciences: 7.1% unemployed Neuroscience: 7.2% unemployed Materials Engineering and Materials Science: 7.5% unemployed Computer Engineering: 7.0% unemployed Biomedical Engineering: 5.9% unemployed General Engineering: 5.9% unemployed Engineering Mechanics Physics and Science: 6.5% unemployed Chemistry: 5.1% unemployed Electrical Engineering: 5.0% unemployed Molecular Biology: 5.3% unemployed Mechanical Engineering and Related Technologies: 6.6% unemployed
Compare these with a 5.0% unemployment rate for all bachelor’s degree holders in 2010.
And why do those Astronomy and Astrophysics people** have jobs?
Earth to [Phil Plait of] Bad Astronomy: your short-list of fully-employed science majors is totally cherry-picked….And all those astronomers who have plenty of jobs? Guess what: they’re employed because they work for the government. Yep, that’s right, the same government whose ability to provide employment Phil laughs at.
*Raise your hand if you’re surprised by this. Mine is not up.
**Full disclosure: I speak as someone whose wife’s cousin, with a Ph.D. in Astronomy & Astrophysics, currently has a Fellowship in the Astronomy department at DeLongville.