Job security for hard science graduates untouched by financial crisis – University of Copenhagen

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28 June 2013

Job security for hard science graduates untouched by financial crisis

Job security

Educations within chemistry, physics and mathematics give the highest measure of job security in Denmark even when the economy is experiencing a downturn. That is the conclusion of an investigation made for the Department of Chemistry by the Danish Union for the academically trained (Akademikernes Centraloganisation)

Unchanged employment numbers only for hard scientists

Since 2008 the global financial crisis has caused a loss of jobs in Denmark as well as globally. Unskilled workers have been hit hardest, but the job market for university graduates has been suffering as well. Except for those trained in chemistry, physics and mathematics.

While unemployment for university graduates as a group rose from historically low 1.8 percent in early 2008 to hover between four and five percent ever since, the group of hard scientists have faced unemployment percentages below two for the duration.

Ten point difference between fields

For fresh graduates the picture is slightly more muddled, though still in favor of the science graduates. The unemployment rate for other university graduates fresh out of school is 20 to 30 percent depending on time of year. Chemists, physicists and mathematicians follow the same curve, but generally ten percentage points lower.

Past can't be used predictively, but...

Jes Andersen, who is in charge of recruiting students for the Department of Chemistry at the University of Copenhagen, underlines that these historical percentages cannot be used to reliably predict future unemployment rates. But he does feel, that the numbers ought to calm anyone thinking about studying chemistry.

“When unemployment has stayed so low during the worst crisis in decades, it does suggest that chemistry and the other hard sciences will offer good job security in years to come as well”.