Cengage Student Opportunity Index Helps Predict College Freshmen's Futures

By Victoria Robertson on July 22, 2019

As the new school year approaches, so too does freshman orientation. Luckily, as incoming college freshmen register for their classes and decide which major they would like to pursue, the Cengage Student Opportunity Index is a fantastic resource through which you can take a look at data that sheds light on how recent and upcoming graduates are performing in the various fields, according to a recent press release.

For instance, according to the Index, as cited in a recent press release, individuals graduating from business and hard sciences (which is inclusive of STEM, Healthcare and Biosciences) are more optimistic about their future opportunities than individuals in humanities and social sciences majors.

The Index pulls opportunity environment data for graduates across 17 indicators, using existing public data and surveys of over 2,500 recent and upcoming graduates (will graduate within the next 12 months). The areas covered by the Index include Economic, Employment, Social and Personal Well-Being. The survey covered 500 students in each of the following majors: business, biological and biomedical sciences, health professions and related programs, humanities and social sciences and STEM subjects (excluding biological and biomedical sciences).

As far as the key findings for college majors were concerned, students employment outlook (across majors) was that they are confident they will land a job fairly quickly after graduating, with slight fluctuations in their confidence in that regard.

In terms of job considerations, the non-financial components vary, but the general consensus is that doing work that makes a difference comes at the expense of growth opportunities and success.

In terms of student loan debt, there are large variations here as some majors (such as healthcare) feel they will have little to no debt while others, such as Biosciences, feel they will have a significant amount.

In terms of future outlook, most surveyed individuals are optimistic about their future, regardless of their major.

According to Michael E. Hansen, CEO of Cengage, “It’s important that students understand how the decisions they make now may impact their lives long after graduation, such as how much debt to take on and job prospects. While the Index shows Humanities majors feel more uncertainty about their futures than other majors, the liberal arts cultivate skills like critical thinking and effective communication. These soft skills or uniquely human skills are key to workplace success, and graduates who demonstrate strength in this area will have an advantage.”

For more information about the Cengage Student Opportunity Index, visit here or download the ebook here.

For more information about the Cengage Student Opportunity Index, visit https://www.cengage.com/todays-learner/career-readiness/ or download the ebook here.

Victoria is a dedicated writer who graduated from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She currently writes freelance pieces for various sites and works in Marketing for Myndbee Inc., promoting their current mobile app, Picpal.

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