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Study: Four-Year Degrees Key to Employment in MT

PHOTO: A new report takes an in-depth look at online job postings across the country and finds that Montana is a top state for employment opportunities for college graduates. Photo credit: Microsoft Images
PHOTO: A new report takes an in-depth look at online job postings across the country and finds that Montana is a top state for employment opportunities for college graduates. Photo credit: Microsoft Images
March 27, 2015

HELENA, Mont. - College graduates searching for jobs in Montana have an easier time than in most states, according to a new report that takes an in-depth look at online job postings across the nation.

Montana is listed as 12th-best, and those with degrees in the health-care and technical fields have the most employment opportunities. Tony Carnevale, the report's lead author and director of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, said the national trend is a higher demand for college graduates.

"The texture of what employers are looking for is changing, in the sense that they're much more focused on specialization and degree specialization," he said. "They care what you majored in in college, as much as they care whether or not you went."

The best spots for college graduate jobs are Massachusetts, Delaware and Washington state.

Another trend, Carnevale noted, is in sales jobs, which traditionally have not required a four-year college degree. Now, two-thirds of them do, he said, "and a fair share of them - half, roughly - are selling medical or industrial technology and equipment. You're selling to experts; you've got to be one."

The report assessed jobs requiring four-year college degrees and concluded that, overall, the sheer number of jobs posted shows that the economy has recovered. Government-listed positions were not part of the report. College grads with the best odds of finding a job have degrees in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, managerial, health care and technical fields.

The report, "State Online Job Market Report: Ranking the States," is online at cew.georgetown.edu.

Deborah Courson Smith/Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - MT