A college education is still your best bet if you want to get a good job and make a decent salary. Not all college degrees will give you what you need, though. While some degrees are highly sought and almost guarantee a good job to grads, there are also some that make it very difficult to find gainful employment. If you want to benefit the most from your college education, according to Kiplinger, you will want to avoid these 10 majors:
Number 1: Anthropology
Although anthropology can be a highly interesting field, it does not provide much promise for a bright future. Recent anthropology graduates experience a 10.5% unemployment rate and a starting salary of around $28,000. Because of the dire employment outlook, around 1/3 of new anthropology graduates end up being forced to take low-paying jobs in retail, sales, or in other offices. If you are just fascinated with other cultures, consider choosing a major in international relations as an alternative. This will provide you with a better job outlook and higher earnings.
Number 2: Fine Arts
Many fine arts majors enter the field for the love of art instead of money. That is good, since recent grads face a 12.6% unemployment rate and an average salary of $30,000 a year. The fact is that there are few open positions and many fine arts majors waiting to fill them. Even those who have vast experience in the field tend to earn around 20% less than other degree holders and are almost twice as likely to end up in retail or a similar job. Unless you are independently wealthy, this is probably not the best degree choice for you.
Number 3: Film and Photography
Although film and photography arts are used in many lucrative industries, the best positions are extremely competitive and often require decades of experience before you can attain them. In the meantime, majors in photography and film will face an unemployment rate of nearly 13% and an average salary of around $30,000. Graduates who choose this major are among the highest earners among art majors, but still earn significantly less than the average for those with a bachelor’s degree.
Number 4: Philosophy and Religious Studies
While philosophy and religious studies can broaden your mind, this major is a poor choice for anyone who doesn’t want to remain, well, poor. Fresh graduates with this degree face an 11% unemployment rate and a salary of around $30,000 a year. People with a degree in philosophy and religious studies earn almost 20% less than those who choose the top 100 majors, and even those with experience make little more.
Number 5: Graphic Design
While graphic design was one of the hottest degree choices for several years, a large number of students entering the field have created massive competition for all open positions. New graphic design grads can expect around a 12% unemployment rate and a salary of $32,000 on average. Even with experience, you can face stiff competition for jobs and a salary of $45,000. This degree offers few alternative options and very limited opportunities for advancement. You would be better served by choosing another computer-related field.
Number 6: Studio Arts
The concept of the starving artist is there for a good reason. Those who major in studio arts can expect a starting salary of around $35,900 and an unemployment rate of over 11%. If you feel that you truly have artistic talent and you are passionate about your art, you would be better off by pursuing a more lucrative degree so you can support yourself until your talent is discovered and appreciated.
Number 7: Liberal Arts
While many people still extol the virtues of a liberal arts education, this field is not that promising for those who want to make money. While some liberal arts degrees earn more than others, the overall outlook is bleak. Recent grads with liberal arts degrees can expect to earn around $30,000 a year even if they can find employment in a field with a 9.2% unemployment rate. Unless you are planning to go on to graduate school, it is a good idea to stretch your interests in another degree area.
Number 8: Drama and Theater Arts
Many people dream of making it big on television, in Hollywood, or on Broadway. Unfortunately, a degree in drama and theater arts won’t do much to get you there. Almost 90% of graduates with this degree find themselves working in another career, such as sales or office work. The unemployment rate for new graduates with this degree is almost 8%, and even those who find work can only expect to earn around $26,000 annually.
Number 9: Sociology
Sociology is a very popular choice for many undergraduates, but it is not a great choice. Sociology majors have an unemployment rate of 8.6% and an average salary of $32,000. The employment prospects for sociology majors is slightly lower than the national average and significantly lower than that for all college graduates. If you are interested in social science, you would do much better majoring in statistics, political science, or economics.
Number 10: English
English graduates are the ‘starving artists’ of the liberal arts world. Recent grads with this degree face an almost 10% rate of unemployment and an average annual salary of $32,000. Even those who land a job and gain useful experience can expect to make almost $10,000 less a year than the average for all holders of bachelor’s degrees.
If you are getting a college education merely to expand your mind and pursue interests, these degrees may be a good choice for you. If, however, you are going to graduate with student debt and need to earn a lucrative salary, avoid these 10 degrees and choose a better option.