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The 20 Worst College Majors for Getting a Job in 2019


When you're trying to decide upon a career, it's always wise to first find out what the pay scale is for the position you want to land, and then look at the educational requirements. Countless college students are paying high prices for college tuition, and spending their time studying in majors that won't help them get a decent paying job after graduation. It takes some work and thoughtfulness to determine the best profession, and the appropriate study programs that will help you to earn the credentials that will make it worth the time and effort spent in classes. The Kiplinger Report took into account the information listed on the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, about which jobs pay the highest and the required college majors. Comparing these to some of the programs that colleges are offering and the doors that they just don't open for you, they were able to conclude that some majors are worse than others. Here are the 20 worst college majors for getting a job in 2019.

20. Advertising

This even sounds like a generic program of study, but it really exists and it does so in several forms. A degree in advertising may help you to get your foot in the door in some jobs, but it's not a strong degree and most employers prefer a degree with a bit more breadth, such as Public Relations. You can look for yourself and you'll discover that the majority of employers do not value an advertising degree as much as a degree in Advertising. The pay scale is usually lower for businesses who are looking for workers with a degree specifically in advertising.

19. Animal Science

Animal Science is a popular choice for students who enjoy working with animals, but unless you want to focus upon the food production aspects of Animal Science, the degree won't get you very far. This is more of a degree that is only valued by those in the food and nutrition industry, and the pay is a lot lower for these positions than it is in Food Science, where the pay is two-thirds higher.

18. Fashion Merchandising

This is yet another degree that does not hold high value with the majority of employers. After spending four years at college to earn this degree, you are likely to discover that people who have degrees in teh fashion industry are most successful when they possess a business administration, marketing management, or other business or finance-related degree.

17 Athletic Training

A degree in Athletic Training is likely to only get you into an entry-level position at a gym, with a low rate of pay. While fitness is a good choice for helping specific groups achieve a measure of fitness, health, and wellness, the better-paying jobs are found in physical therapists and their assistants. A degree in Athletic Training won't open any of these doors for you, so unless you want to be stuck in a low paying job, look for an alternative degree, and preferably one that offers some type of specialization within the fitness industry.

16.. Hospitality and Tourism

Hospitality and Tourism are also degrees that will give you just enough experience to secure a lower-paying job within an industry that has high earnings potential. The current statistics show that employers within these job markets are looking for candidates who have degrees in business administration or business management. They want someone capable of understanding and managing the ins and outs of the business for the higher paid positions. Tour guides, doormen, bellhops and those who work in the labor end of these operations make far less, and a degree in tourism or hospitality won't provide you with the in-depth knowledge about how to effectively run an operation within these industries. has done an in-depth evaluation of the worst college majors for getting hired for a job. They break down the information supplied about the current unemployment rates of persons with specific degrees, so here are the next five worst study programs for securing employment.

15. Mass Media

The unemployment rate for people with a degree in Mass Media is an astounding 7.4 percent. This is far higher than the 5.4 percent for those with a degree in engineering. There aren't that many employers who advertise for candidates with this specific degree. If you want to go into media and get paid well, consider a degree that specializes in the specific field you're interested in. This could be journalism, public relations, business or so forth. The average salary for people who hold this degree is about $35,000 annually.

14. Philosophy

While it's wonderful to be able to reason, analyze and carry on a good debate about values and such, a degree in philosophy qualifies graduates for jobs that pay around $35,000 per year on average. In addition to this, the unemployment rate is 6.2 percent, which shows that there are a lot of people out there who can't even find employment with a degree in Philosophy.

13. Liberal Arts

A degree in Liberal Arts is among the most generic, and although it's a degree and shows that you have a broad education in a variety of subjects, it isn't considered to be a strong degree that specializes in any one industry. The average salary for graduates with this degree who are employed is around $35,000 per year. The unemployment rate for Liberal Arts majors stands at 6.3 percent. The odds of gaining employment are low and when you do, it isn't likely to pay much.

12. English Language

English Language majors are also degrees that are not in high demand with employers. This degree may be suitable for entry-level ESL workers or if you are going into the public teaching profession, but you're likely to need further education and certification to qualify for a position that pays a living wage. The average salary of recent graduates with a degree in the English Language is $35,000 per year and the unemployment rate is 6.4 percent.

11. Fine Arts

Recent graduates with a college degree in Fine Arts average salaries of $35,000 for a year among those who are employed. The unemployment rate is 6.4 percent. The reason that it's harder to get a job with a degree in Fine Arts is that it's also considered to be a more generic degree in the business world. It's not impossible to get a job with this degree, but the figures show that it's tougher because the degree is not one that's in demand.

Moneywise has conducted their analysis of the worst college majors to get a job in 2019. According to their information, these are five college majors that you should avoid if you want to get a job that offers good pay and job security. They factored in unemployment rates and the average annual salary in their analysis.

10. Exercise Science

Exercise science is a degree that might sound like a powerful tool in the fitness industry, but the statistics show that it isn't. The starting salary averages $39,500, and that's if you can find an employer who is familiar with the degree and looking for a candidate in possession of such. While it might get you a job as a trainer, and the demand is certainly growing quickly, the pay is low. Physical therapists can make two to three times as much annually.

9. Religious studies

A degree in religious studies is going to make it difficult to find a job if it's a solo degree. It may open you up for a job as a religious studies teacher, or help if you're planning to become a pastor, but there aren't a lot of employers who are looking for this sort of degree. Recent growth in the number of religious teachers needed in higher education has only grown at a rate of 0.8 percent, which is remarkably low. The average starting pay is around $41,000 per years, and that's if you can secure and maintain employment in a narrow field with very little prospect for growth without a secondary degree. In the non-academic market, job prospects are extremely low.

8, Paralegal Studies

If you're going to college to be a paralegal, you don't need a four-year degree, although they're offered. This is an industry that has also been inundated with qualified candidates who've earned their degrees in the field, which lessens the chances of being hired. There's a lot of competition out there. The average starting pay is around $40,000 and in some areas, it's much lower.

7. Art History

One of the worst degrees for getting a job in 2019 is in Art History. This is another narrow field of study that only prepares you for working in a museum or for teaching on the subject. The bottom line is that there are very few prospects for securing full-time employment with this degree. Many colleges and universities hire adjunct faculty on a part-time basis to teach for them. The average starting full-time pay for an Art History teacher is around $42,000 per year.

6. Art

A degree in Art is only useful if it is a specific type of art and you plan to become a commercial artist and have some other skills to go along with this degree. You won't find many advertisements for a degree in Art from employers, so the prospects are extremely low for persons holding this degree.

Forbes has also investigated the topic of the best and worst college majors for getting a job. They're known for distributing factual information based upon facts and figures, and we value them as a trustworthy resource. Here is what they have to say about the worst college degrees for finding a job.

5. Anthropology/Archaeology

While anthropology and archaeology are specific subjects and they can be intriguing for those with a passion for research fand exploration, it's important to make note of the fact that the average earnings of recent graduates are only about $28,000 per year. Graduates who already have work experience in these industries have an unemployment rate of 6.2 percent and the new graduates have an unemployment rate of a very high 10.5 percent. What this tells us is that the job outlook is poor with a degree in either Anthropology or Archaeology.

4. Parks Recreation

This is a degree that you don't see a lot of call for, and neither do the analysts. People who graduate with this degree and who have experience in teh field already have the potential to earn around $50,000 per years, but the unemployment rates for this group is 4.5 percent. If you're a recent grad with a Parks and Recreation degree, you can expect an average starting yearly wage of $30,000 if you can find a job, because the unemployment rate currently stands at 8.3 percent.

3. Film, Video and Photographic Arts

This is another degree that has little to offer when it comes to securing a living wage in a new job. The average pay for recent graduates is $30,000, but the worst part is that recent grads have an unemployment rate of 12.9 percent. While those who are more experienced and were fortunate enough to gain employment make around $50,000 per year, the unemployment rate for this group is high at 6.7 percent.

2. Music

Are you planning on being a band teacher or a musician? This also is a narrow field that doesn't open up a lot of career opportunities. Recent graduates who secure employment only make on average $30,000 per year and the unemployment rate for this group is 9.2 percent. More experienced grads can make up to $45,000 but the unemployment rate for this group is 4.5 percent.

1. History

Just a simple degree in History, or even in a specialized history subject is another degree that doesn't open many doors. The average earnings for a recent graduate with a degree in History are around $32,000 and the unemployment rate is 10.2 percent. Those with experience can make up to $54,000, but the unemployment rate is 5.8 percent even among the more experienced.

Dana Hanson

Written by Dana Hanson

Dana has extensive professional writing experience including technical and report writing, informational articles, persuasive articles, contrast and comparison, grant applications, and advertisement. She also enjoys creative writing, content writing on nearly any topic (particularly business and lifestyle), because as a lifelong learner, she loves to do research and possess a high skill level in this area. Her academic degrees include AA social Sci/BA English/MEd Adult Ed & Community & Human Resource Development and ABD in PhD studies in Indust & Org Psychology.

Read more posts by Dana Hanson

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