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Published September 08, 2011, 10:20 PM

Doctorate-holders Least Affected by High Unemployment

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - Numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics might suggest in order to get a job, you might need to have your doctorate.

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - Numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics might suggest in order to get a job, you might need to have your doctorate.

The BLS has released numbers from 2010 that show men and women with doctorate degrees are the lowest number of unemployed people.

The national unemployment rate averaged just over eight percent last year. And new statistics from 2010 show the least affected were professionals with Ph.D's.

For college students, there's already enough stress related to the curriculum.

"A lot of upper-level labs, physics, bio techniques and chemistry," Biology major Robert Wippler.

And that's just in the classroom.

Now new numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics might add pressure to students once they're done in the classroom.

According to the BLS, only 1.9 percent of people with doctorates were unemployed in 2010. That's a stark contrast from the national 2010 average of 8.2 percent.

So now do students think a doctorate is the only way to get a job?

"Personally I'm not worried, I'm sure there's jobs out there. If not, I'll wait until they come about," Wippler said.

One student thinks just a four-year degree isn't going to do the trick.

"I would be lower on the list of people applying for the same jobs as me in the future if I'm going against someone with a doctorate," occupational therapy major Kalee McCann said.

"Most careers might not need a doctorate in order to perform and do the work," career services director Mark Thompson said.

Thompson says the most important factor is tailoring your education to match what job you want. And sometimes being over-educated can have consequences.

"I might be able to hire a bachelors-level job at a price less than a masters," Thompson said.

Don't let the numbers fool you. Thompson says the groups of people with four-year degrees and doctorates are not equal, and that affects statistics.

"If Ph.D's are fewer in numbers than the unemployed, of course the number is going to be less," Thompson said.

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