More people opt to get PhD’s than could ever hope to get jobs as professors—it’s just the current reality of the job market. A recent article in the LA Review of Books explains why that hasn’t, and shouldn’t, stop hopeful academics from pursuing higher study in their field of interest.

A career is a choice made out of passion, not pure rationality. Young people don’t always choose their jobs based on which careers will be easiest to enter. So, just as job-searchers should research which fields are hiring, companies should investigate what entry-level candidates are looking for.

Over the past few years, Scouted, a job matching service focused on recent college graduates, has collected an immense amount of data about Millennial job searches that sheds some light on this.

Survey responses from 2395 of Scouted’s candidates show some interesting trends in which jobs young people are seeking out. These candidates were asked: “What types of jobs are you interested in?” and they were able to select as many choices as they liked. Here’s how they responded:


Business Strategy and Consulting was the most popular choice, with 67% of candidates expressing interest. Finance was a close second: 64% of candidates said they’d like a finance job. I’d assume money is a big part of the reason for the popularity of these two careers. From these results, it seems that a majority of recent college graduates are prioritizing jobs that will give them a lot of bang for their buck.

It’s surprising, then, that Software Development came in second to last, with the interest of only 7% of candidates. Software Development is a high-paying field, with a decent amount of openings—especially among the large number of tech startups Scouted works with.

This likely has to do with educational background—people who haven’t studied computer science probably aren’t qualified for dev roles and won’t seek them out. On the other hand, the knowledge required for the high-paying Finance and Consulting jobs is less specialized, making those careers seem more possible to young people just entering the job market.

Below are the full results for this survey. Let us know about any observations or hypotheses you have about the data in the comments!