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Introducing a New Expert Content Section: Careers!

Worst College Majors for Your Career

GMTplus7GMTplus7 Registered User Posts: 14,567 Senior Member
edited October 2012 in Parents Forum
A lot of time and expense goes into earning a college degree. Here are majors with a higher likelihood as compared to other majors, of ending up working in retail where a college degree isn't always required, rather than working in the field of study

The List:

10. English
9. Sociology
8. Drama and Theater Arts
7. Liberal Arts
6. Studio Arts
5. Graphic Design
4. Philosophy and Religious Studies
3. Film and Photography
2. Fine Arts
1. Anthropology

Worst College Majors for Your Career - Kiplinger
Post edited by GMTplus7 on

Replies to: Worst College Majors for Your Career

  • emeraldkity4emeraldkity4 Registered User Posts: 35,861 Senior Member
    More funding for the Arts!
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 69,197 Senior Member
    Wonder where biology ends up in their rankings -- perhaps just outside the bottom 10?
  • emeraldkity4emeraldkity4 Registered User Posts: 35,861 Senior Member
    ^^^at least the west coast has the most opportunities.
    Biological and Environmental Sciences Jobs in the Federal Government
  • LBowieLBowie Registered User Posts: 1,815 Senior Member
    Those are just government jobs. There are non-government jobs in biotech/pharma. Lots of construction going on in Boston right now in the biotech area, as well as in New York.

    Office construction makes a comeback in Boston area - Real estate - Boston.com

    New York City is trying to get biotech startups to stick around | City & State
  • lje62lje62 Registered User Posts: 5,598 Senior Member
    My daughter came very close to that list ;) She graduated two years ago and just got a job ...entry level biotech industry. Go figure , but we are thrilled that she FINALLY is employed
  • sportsmom2016sportsmom2016 Registered User Posts: 271 Junior Member
    UGH! Sportskid came home this weekend and annouced that he really wants to be a philosophy major.........#4 on the list! He does plan to go on to law school. He has taken to this subject and feels it will help him with the LSAT as well as law school. I think I will encourage him to add a few business courses to his plans (just in case....).
  • tk21769tk21769 Registered User Posts: 10,203 Senior Member
    If you believe the payscale.com data, philosophy majors have higher mid-career salaries than majors in business, communications, HR, or public administration (among others). They are less than two thousand dollars behind the mid-career averages for accounting or marketing & communications majors. And this data only covers alumni with terminal bachelors degrees (it excludes anyone with a graduate/professional degree).
    Majors That Pay You Back ? PayScale College Salary Report 2012-13

    I don't see why a philosophy major would be at any disadvantage compared to most other liberal arts majors (with the possible exception of some of the hard sciences, math, or economics). The standing joke is that engineering majors get jobs faster, and earn more out of the gate, but 15 years later wind up working for liberal arts majors.
  • bgmargatebgmargate - Posts: 156 Junior Member
    It seems to me that people are confusing the value of a biology major with bio tech etc.
  • Classof2015Classof2015 Registered User Posts: 4,329 Senior Member
    This is my theory: people hire people, not majors. Is an engineering major with a bad work ethic, no work experience and no people skills a better hire than an English major with lots of work experience, great work ethic, and terrific people skills? Sure, there are some jobs where you need to be familiar with a specific pool of knowledge or be able to do a specific task, but I think there is a broad range of jobs where you need to be a good worker who is willing to learn.

    Being someone who reviews resumes and hires people, I don't think things are as bleak for these 10 majors as the article would suggest.
  • MarianMarian Registered User Posts: 12,909 Senior Member
    There seem to be two different types of majors in the list:

    1. Liberal arts majors, where you can't expect to get a job directly related to your major without further education beyond a bachelor's degrees.

    2. Art of all sorts.

    It's the second group that bothers me because I would have thought that those majors were career-oriented (especially graphic design). But there may be an oversupply of graduates in these majors. And that could account for the fact that when my employer advertised for a graphic designer, 250 resumes arrived within days.
  • OperaDadOperaDad Registered User Posts: 2,476 Senior Member
    When I graduated, there was someone getting a PhD in Leisure Studies. I thought that would be a worthless degree. Now it might be the rage, with people spending boat loads of money on Leisure activities.
  • T26E4T26E4 Registered User Posts: 24,274 Senior Member
    My brother was a successful artist/illustrator before getting his BFA. Continued his successful trajectory for 25 yrs + and now is an instructor at his alma mater filled w/many fine arts/graphics degree seekers. One word of caution he gives his 1st year students: "When you graduate and are out there trying to get your portfolio seen by account managers, I'll be in the waiting room with my portfolio too"

    Harsh reality about limited opportunities. He readily admits that his expensive arts college has about 25% of graduates immediately employed somewhere in the arts field. I bet that's not in their brochures.
  • soozievtsoozievt Registered User, ! Posts: 31,467 Senior Member
    Sure, there are some jobs where you need to be familiar with a specific pool of knowledge or be able to do a specific task, but I think there is a broad range of jobs where you need to be a good worker who is willing to learn.

    I agree with this. ^^^
    A major doesn't necessarily dictate the only field of work you can do for employment.

    In any case, I have a daughter who majored in theater, and has worked entirely in her field and has supported herself since graduating over 3 years ago.
  • muckdogs07muckdogs07 Registered User Posts: 1,166 Senior Member
    Not sure the methodology behind this data, but am surprised to see English and Philosophy majors on this list. Hard for me to fathom more useful skills in today's workplace than the ability to write well or read analytically. Also, wonder how the data compared students going into grad and professional schools as many liberal arts majors do with their counter parts in business and engineering who are more likely to enter the work force initially (ie do they remove liberal arts majors from the data who earn JD's, PhD's, MD's or other advanced degrees on the ground that those degrees supersede the liberal arts degree).
  • SansSerifSansSerif Registered User Posts: 814 Member
    I would think that if you had a minor in technical writing, or had some web skills, etc., an English degree would be a bit more helpful. Also, I work in advertising. There are good, well-paying jobs in graphic design. I'm not saying they're as plentiful as engineering opportunities, but they are out there. I know plenty of graphic designers making very nice livings. You might have to start as a temp, but it can be done.
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