BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – In 2021, 4.43 million college students graduated in the U.S. and many went on to search for jobs in a market where more than 6 million people were unemployed.

Among those recent graduates were just over 10,000 individuals who’d recently earned degrees from local colleges like LSU, Southern University, and Baton Rouge Community College.

This year, the national unemployment rate is slightly lower at 3.7 percent and Louisiana’s unemployment rate has also improved. In fact, as of this summer, it clocked in at 3.6 percent, according to the Louisiana Workforce Commission.

This means that for some, the search for a lucrative career isn’t as challenging as it was at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

That said, even in today’s more profitable job market, there are certain degrees that it may be more difficult to find work with.

A list of the reportedly top five hardest degrees to get a job with are below.

#1/ Library Science

A Library Science major is trained to manage, organize, assess, and distribute various forms of literature, databases, and other reference materials. These graduates are armed with a plethora of information that can typically be tailored to fit a wide variety of professional goals.

Usually, they set their sights on becoming librarians.

But some say a major downside of this field is the lack of vacancies when it comes to finding work. So, individuals with this degree may have to move to find a job as rural areas or small to mid-sized cities may not have any openings for a lengthy period of time.

On the upside, those who are able to score jobs as librarians typically make a decent salary. A librarian or library media specialist with a masters typically makes just over $60,000 annually.

And though it might be challenging for these graduates to find work at this time, some experts believe the job market for librarians will grow by nine percent from 2020 to 2030.

#2/ Metallurgical Engineering

This program of study leaves graduates with a wide-range of knowledge related to the study of metals and how they can be transformed into products that benefit society.

These engineers typically pursue careers that involve testing/investigating the testing of procedures that ensure the safety of materials, or they head the development of sustainable materials and processes for recycling such products.

According to University Magazine, “There are many reasons why it is hard to find a job after graduating with a degree in metallurgical engineering. First of all, there are not many jobs in this field. Secondly, the available jobs are usually located in rural areas where the cost of living is high. Finally, these jobs typically require specialized skills that most graduates do not have.”

#3/ Nuclear Engineering

A nuclear engineer is a respected scientist trained to understand the science and application of nuclear and radiation processes.

This is one of the highest paying STEM careers, but it comes with a number of risks.

For one, some nuclear engineers work in environments that expose them to radiation or even to a potentially catastrophic power plant accident.

An article in Chron also points out that, “Other negative aspects of this career include rigorous educational requirements that few students could handle and declining job opportunities in power plants, a leading employer of nuclear engineers.”

This high stress and potentially dangerous career may not be for everyone.

That said, individuals who have an insatiable curiosity when it comes to nuclear science and who feel compelled to use their knowledge to make a difference in the fields of medicine and science may find that nuclear engineering is the perfect career path for them.

#4/ Industrial Production Technologies

Graduates with this degree are equipped to apply basic engineering principles and technical skills to the process of utilizing natural resources in a way that benefits society. They’re typically proficient in both math and science and work with computers as well as other machines to produce goods.

One university calls these graduates “highly sought after” and says, “Entry-level workers with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology (BSIT) can find numerous entry-level industrial technology jobs with salaries of at least $50,000, while graduates who become licensed or certified in their field can go on to enjoy even more opportunities.”

But University Magazine warns that, “Finding a job after earning a degree in industrial production technology can be difficult.” In 2020, the unemployment rate for industrial engineers was reportedly 2.5%.

On a more positive note, employment is expected to grow in the coming years.

#5/ General Social Sciences

According to College Factual, “The field of Social Sciences incorporates classes from a variety of disciplines in the liberal arts field allowing you to study the world from a variety of cultural, intellectual, and social perspectives.”

Graduates with this degree are equipped with a well-rounded education that can be useful in any number of career paths.

However, University Magazine points out that the job scene typically isn’t all roses after graduation.

It says, “According to a report from Payscale, the hardest majors for finding a job are general social sciences, earth and atmospheric sciences, chemistry, mathematic and statistics, and physics. In addition, the report looked at the percentage of graduates from each major who are employed full-time one year after graduation. General social sciences came last, with only 40% of graduates employed fulltime.”


The list featured above indicates that while it may be challenging to land a job in these arenas, it isn’t impossible. In fact, the growth outlook for some of these fields is positive.

So, if one of the five paths mentioned above seem like a perfect fit for a potential student, with careful planning and assistance it’s likely graduates can still chart a course that leads to a lucrative career.

Click here to view the full list of ‘The Hardest Majors For Finding Jobs After College’ from University Magazine.