10 Majors That Stay The Longest At Their First Jobs

Ryan Morris
by Ryan Morris
Jobs, Major-Specific, Rankings, Uncategorized - 1 year ago
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How long did you stay at your first job?

Graduating from college and going on to find a job in the industry of your choice can be difficult on its own. But once you’ve gotten lucky enough to find work, a new problem arises almost immediately: how long should you stay on at your new job? And when exactly should you start trying to move on to bigger and better things?

It’s a tough question with no easy answer, given how many variables there are to consider. The amount of money you’re currently making can be an important factor, as well as whatever your current expenses are, how much debt you’re in, and (just as critical as the other items) how happy and fulfilled you feel with your job at the end of the day — all of these things are big considerations to make before you decide to start looking for better job opportunities.

But as difficult of a decision as it might be, it’s one that working folks are having to make every day. So we at Zippia were curious — which college majors spent the most time in their first jobs? And which ones tended to leave their first job the soonest?

Using our resume database, we managed to come up with a list of college majors ranked by how long they stayed at their first work experience.

The full breakdown can be found further down, but first, here’s a quick top ten.

  1. Data Processing
  2. Ceramic Sciences And Engineering
  3. Religious Education
  4. Secretarial And Administrative Science
  5. Nuclear Engineering Technology
  6. Electrical/Electronics Maintenance And Repair Technology
  7. Computer Programming
  8. Occupational Safety And Health
  9. Surveying, Mapping, And Hydraulic Technologies
  10. Accounting And Computer Science

Engineering or computer-based majors seem to take up most of the top spots here, which is food for thought.

We decided to focus the majority of this article on college majors who spent the most time at their first place of work, but to provide some contrast, here are the majors that on average spent the least amount of time at their first job:

  1. Molecular Medicine: 1.37 years
  2. Cognitive Science: 1.4 years
  3. Nanotechnology: 1.44 years
  4. Biomedical Engineering: 1.47 years
  5. Biological Engineering: 1.47
  6. Applied Mathematics: 1.5 years
  7. Biostatistics: 1.55 years
  8. East Asian Languages, Literatures, And Linguistics: 1.55 years
  9. Materials Science And Engineering: 1.56 years
  10. Neuroscience: 1.59 years

If you’re working in the medical, ecological, or biological science-related fields, you might want to watch out — either you’re moving up in the world quicker than most, or people in your field are having a tough time keeping themselves employed.

How We Did It

We used our database of over 6 million resumes to locate data for the average length of each individual college major’s first, second, and third job experiences. For this particular ranking, we decided to focus on jobs with the longest first work experiences alone, but you’ll find the data for the second and third jobs in the extended table at the end of this article.

Following this, we removed those majors that had less than 100 associated resumes in the database in order to ensure that there was a decent sample size for each job title. Then we ranked the remaining majors by the average length of their first work experiences, which gave us our final list as well as our top ten.

Did your college major make the top ten? Read on below to see our full breakdown of the top ten majors with the longest first work experiences.

1. Data Processing

Average First Work Experience Length: 5.32 years
Job Description: In a Data Processing position, your responsibilities include analyzing and verifying data on the behalf of your company, then converting or reducing that information into some kind of usable form, the shape of which depends on what kind of project this data is intended for.

2. Ceramic Sciences And Engineering

Average First Work Experience Length: 4.84 years
Job Description: Ceramic engineers create structures and devices using materials that are specifically non-metallic and inorganic. This can include simple structures like glass, more complex ones like synthetic bones, and (yes) it can even include toilets.

3. Religious Education

Average First Work Experience Length: 4.49 years
Job Description: Religious educators vary widely in their fields of study — after all, there are as many religious fields of study as there are religions themselves — but they all share a tendency to stay in their first jobs for nearly 4 and a half years.

4. Secretarial And Administrative Science

Average First Work Experience Length: 4.16 years
Job Description: Secretarial and Administrative Science is the study of industries whose positions include secretaries, administrators, civil servants, and managers, whose responsibilities typically include office management, personnel management, and scheduling.

5. Nuclear Engineering Technology

Average First Work Experience Length: 3.98 years
Job Description: A major for those studying technology powered by nuclear materials, including x-rays, MRIs, nuclear power reactors, and the design of nuclear weapons.

6. Electrical/Electronics Maintenance And Repair Technology


Average First Work Experience Length: 3.91 years
Job Description: Electrical Maintenance workers perform preventive maintenance and repair of various electrical equipment, which can include replacing old or broken parts as well as general troubleshooting.

7. Computer Programming

Average First Work Experience Length: 3.75 years
Job Description: Computer programmers create original solutions to problems by designing, troubleshooting, or otherwise altering code in a variety of programming languages.

8. Occupational Safety And Health

Average First Work Experience Length: 3.74 years
Job Description: Occupational Safety and Health is a field devoted to the safety of workers and the improvement of working conditions, including the compensation of injured workers.

9. Surveying, Mapping, And Hydraulic Technologies

Average First Work Experience Length: 3.7 years
Job Description: Students in this major work with surveying and mapping technology, such as EDM devices, 3D scanners, and GPS, in order to improve and innovate surveying and mapping technology.

10. Accounting And Computer Science

Average First Work Experience Length: 3.68 years
Job Description: The Accounting and Computer Science major combines measurement and financial courses with coursework involving information technology in order to prepare students for a variety of positions in the modern tech world, as accounting and administrative work becomes increasingly reliant on newer technologies.

Wrapping Up

That’s all for this one, but there’s more to see here at Zippia.

Are you a music lover? Find out which jobs get mentioned the most in music lyrics.

Or are you looking for more articles like this one? Check out which small colleges are the best to work for in North Carolina.

Below you’ll find our extended list of the top 100 college majors by the length of their 1st work experience below, as well as the data for those majors’ 2nd and 3rd work experiences.

Professions Avg. Length Of 1st Work Exp. (In Years) Avg. Length Of 2nd Work Exp. (In Years) Avg. Length Of 3rd Work Exp. (In Years)
Data Processing 5.32 3.63 0.68
Ceramic Sciences And Engineering 4.84 3.1 0.64
Religious Education 4.49 3.43 0.76
Secretarial And Administrative Science 4.16 3.04 0.73
Nuclear Engineering Technology 3.98 2.6 0.65
Electrical/Electronics Maintenance And Repair Technology 3.91 3.12 0.8
Computer Programming 3.75 2.75 0.73
Occupational Safety And Health 3.74 2.6 0.7
Surveying, Mapping, And Hydraulic Technologies 3.7 2.78 0.75
Accounting And Computer Science 3.68 3.08 0.84
Paper Science And Engineering 3.66 1.68 0.46
Electrical Engineering Technology 3.59 2.63 0.73
Real Estate 3.58 2.72 0.76
Computer Systems Analysis 3.56 2.48 0.7
Insurance 3.55 2.57 0.72
Biblical Studies 3.55 2.51 0.71
Agricultural Mechanization 3.54 2.94 0.83
Project Management 3.53 2.55 0.72
Ophthalmic And Optometric Support Services 3.52 2.7 0.77
Mortuary Science 3.51 2.53 0.72
Industrial Technology 3.5 2.58 0.74
Electrical And Power Transmission Installers 3.5 2.53 0.72
Reading Teacher Education 3.48 2.5 0.72
Theology 3.47 2.6 0.75
Heating And Air Conditioning 3.45 2.5 0.72
Applied Horticulture 3.44 2.46 0.72
Operations Management 3.42 2.51 0.73
Aviation 3.41 2.51 0.74
Plant Sciences 3.41 2.55 0.75
Construction Engineering Technologies 3.4 2.5 0.74
Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians 3.38 2.55 0.75
General Sales 3.38 2.72 0.8
Telecommunications Management 3.38 2.5 0.74
Law Enforcement 3.36 2.62 0.78
Electromechanical Instrumentation And Maintenance Technologies/Technicians 3.36 2.3 0.68
Educational Leadership 3.32 2.71 0.82
Educational Assessment, Evaluation, And Research 3.32 2.33 0.7
Organizational Behavior Studies 3.32 2.36 0.71
Property Management 3.31 2.61 0.79
Heavy/Industrial Equipment Maintenance Technologies 3.3 2.21 0.67
Educational Technology 3.27 2.52 0.77
Drafting And Design 3.25 2.48 0.76
Engineering Technology 3.25 2.54 0.78
Mechanic And Repair Technologies 3.23 2.78 0.86
Mechanical Engineering Technology 3.22 2.45 0.76
Pastoral Counseling And Specialized Ministries 3.21 2.77 0.86
Civil Engineering Technologies 3.21 2.55 0.79
Petroleum Technology 3.21 2.45 0.76
Fire Science And Protection 3.17 2.59 0.82
Architectural Engineering 3.17 2.4 0.76
Education 3.16 2.51 0.79
Computer Technical Support 3.16 2.36 0.75
Woodworking 3.16 2.86 0.91
Business 3.15 2.38 0.76
Legal Support Services 3.15 2.34 0.74
Agricultural Engineering 3.15 2.59 0.82
Forestry 3.14 2.46 0.78
Management 3.13 2.38 0.76
Holocaust And Related Studies 3.13 2.37 0.76
Manufacturing Engineering 3.11 2.5 0.8
Accounting 3.1 2.38 0.77
Metallurgical Engineering 3.09 2.43 0.79
Computer Systems Security 3.08 2.21 0.72
Homeland Security 3.07 2.28 0.74
Curriculum And Instruction 3.06 2.4 0.78
Electrical Engineering 3.05 2.48 0.81
Human Resources Management 3.04 2.26 0.74
Military Technology 3.04 2.12 0.7
Architectural Technology 3.04 2.13 0.7
Chemical Technology 3.03 2.77 0.91
Construction Management 3.02 2.4 0.79
Military Applied Sciences 3.01 2.43 0.81
General Education, Specific Areas 2.99 2.28 0.76
Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science 2.99 2.26 0.76
Marine Engineering 2.99 2.16 0.72
Alternative And Complementary Medicine And Medical Systems 2.98 2.23 0.75
Health Care Administration 2.97 2.17 0.73
Computer Networking 2.97 2.17 0.73
Supply Chain Management 2.96 2.15 0.73
Nursing Science 2.96 2.34 0.79
Physical Sciences 2.96 2.35 0.79
Environmental Design 2.95 2.52 0.85
Special Education 2.94 2.41 0.82
Gerontology 2.94 2.15 0.73
Soil Science 2.93 2.5 0.85
Surveying Engineering 2.92 2.23 0.76
Parks And Recreation Management 2.91 2.34 0.8
Dentistry 2.91 2.48 0.85
Computer Information Systems 2.9 2.2 0.76
Bilingual Education 2.89 2.35 0.81
Precision Metal Working 2.88 2.07 0.72
Graphic Communications 2.88 2.29 0.8
Medical Technician 2.86 2.27 0.79
Elementary Education 2.86 2.29 0.8
Podiatric Medicine 2.86 3.31 1.16
Secondary Education And Teaching 2.85 2.23 0.78
Liberal Arts 2.83 2.19 0.77
Automotive Technology 2.82 2.11 0.75
Communications Technology 2.82 2.09 0.74
Systems Engineering 2.81 2.24 0.8

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