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Maine Scores 31st: States with Best Odds of College Grads Landing a Job

A new report crunched data from millions of online job postings by state and ranks Maine at 31st in the nation for college graduates' odds of landing a job there. Credit: Mike Clifford.
A new report crunched data from millions of online job postings by state and ranks Maine at 31st in the nation for college graduates' odds of landing a job there. Credit: Mike Clifford.
April 1, 2015

AUGUSTA, Maine - A new report places Maine in the middle of the pack if you're a college graduate looking for a state with the best odds of landing a job.

The report from the Georgetown Center on Education and Workforce crunched data from millions of online job postings nationwide. Report author Dr. Tony Carnevale said the job market for college grads is dominated by companies such as Unum Provident Life Insurance, Maine Health and L.L. Bean.

"It has a few strong employers," he said. "The rest of the hiring for college jobs in Maine tends to be at the University - which is having some difficulty now, I know - and also tends to come in health care."

A decline in enrollment has the University of Maine facing a projected $90 million deficit by the end of the decade. In the report, Maine ranks 31st for job prospects for college grads, with 42 percent of online job ads seeking applicants with degrees. Massachusetts, Delaware and Washington are rated as the top three states, with the best odds of landing a job for college graduates.

Carnevale uses the analogy of an iPad to explain what's happening in the job market. Only a fraction of its value comes from manufacturing it, he said. Most of the value comes from related services, from design to marketing, to creating apps. He said states that offer the best job prospects for college grads work the same way.

"A mix of technical, managerial and professional jobs, which are very characteristic of growth economies now," he said. "That is, it's not just about making the computer - it's about all the services and the lawyers and the designers that go with it."

He said the texture of what employers are looking for is changing. While a degree still is important, companies want it to relate to the job they are offering.

"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 report is online at cew.georgetown.edu.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - ME