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FILE - In this Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011 file picture, students attend graduation ceremonies at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The number of borrowers defaulting on federal student loans has jumped sharply, the latest indication that rising college tuition costs, low graduation rates and poor job prospects are getting more and more students over their heads in debt. The national two-year cohort default rate rose to 8.8 percent in 2009, from 7 percent in fiscal 2008, according to figures released Monday, Sept. 12, 2011 by the Department of Education. (AP Photo/Butch Dill) FILE - In this Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011 file picture, students attend graduation ceremonies at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The number of borrowers defaulting on federal student loans has jumped sharply, the latest indication that rising college tuition costs, low graduation rates and poor job prospects are getting more and more students over their heads in debt. The national two-year cohort default rate rose to 8.8 percent in 2009, from 7 percent in fiscal 2008, according to figures released Monday, Sept. 12, 2011 by the Department of Education. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)  

What is a Liberal Arts Degree Worth These Days?

Although unemployment fell to 8.5% in December 2011, the lowest unemployment rate since March 2009, recent college graduates are still struggling to find jobs in their field of study.

But students in certain areas of study are having a harder time securing employment.

According to a study by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce,unemployment is generally higher among those with degrees in non-technical fields; architecture majors face an unemployment rate of 13.9%, those with an arts degree face 11.1%, and liberal arts majors have a 9.4% rate. Students with majors in education and health face a lower rate of 5.4%.

Despite the field having lower employment rates, a liberal arts degree can be a great educational background and allow students to segue into a variety of careers, says Paul D’Anieri, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Florida.

“I keep reading statistics about how many times today’s graduates will change careers during their lifetimes,” he says. “A liberal arts degree is the ideal preparation for that kind of world, even if the degree does not channel one neatly into one’s first post-college job.”

Full story: What is a Liberal Arts Degree Worth These Days?