When your distant relatives inevitably ask you, "So, what are you going to do after graduation?" this holiday season, don't panic -- tell them you'll go into education, medicine or accounting. As the economy recovers, those are among the easiest fields for recent college graduates to get jobs in.
U.S. employers plan to hire about 8 percent more recent grads in 2015 than they did this year, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers. While law school enrollment is shrinking, companies are growing their ranks. Their budgets are getting bigger, too. Employers said they were raising starting salaries by 3.6 percent.
Nearly one-third of 2014 grads secured a job before leaving college, but not all majors are created equal. Here are where experts think the jobs will be in the next four years:
Recent grads with bachelor's degrees should consider becoming teachers, according to the College Board's Hottest Careers for College Graduates list. It predicted more than 1.26 million job openings for elementary, middle and high school teachers between 2008 and 2018. New teaching jobs are being created constantly, too, USA Today reported, with almost 280,000 positions to be added by 2017 alone.
Going to medical school could be a step in the right direction. The College Board predicted about 260,000 total job openings for doctors and surgeons between 2008 and 2018. Those fall under the ever-growing category of STEM jobs in fields of science, technology, engineering and math. STEM jobs will account for nearly 40 percent of all new high-skill positions, USA Today reported, and are usually well paid. Consider a major in biochemistry, biology, chemistry, biomedical engineering, exercise science or physician assistant.
Accounting and auditing came in at No. 3 on the University of California, San Diego's 2014 careers report. Employment of grads in those fields is expected to jump about 13 percent in the next eight years, and that trend will likely continue as business globalization grows. A bachelor's degree can usually earn recent graduates an entry-level position. The median annual wage for accountants and auditors was about $64,000 in 2012. Consider a major in accounting, applied mathematics, business administration, economics or finance or statistics.