Worst College Majors for Your Career 2015-2016 in U.S. Trending - Career and Job

Going to college promises the opportunity to further your education, to meet new people and to get a taste of independence. It doesn't guarantee a lucrative career after graduation, however. While it's true that a worker with a bachelor's degree or higher typically earns 79% more than someone with just a high school diploma, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, what you study can be a better indicator of your future employability and earnings potential.

We analyzed data for 128 popular college majors, looking at the typical starting and mid-career salaries you can expect if you major in them. We also examined recent online job postings seeking candidates with those majors, as well as long-term growth expectations for related occupations, to determine the demand for each of the courses of study.

Granted, the best major for you can't be measured by numbers alone. Your passions are equally important. "If you're not interested in a subject, if your values don't align with your occupation, you're not going to be any good at it," says Anthony Carnevale, director of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. "The important thing is that people be mindful that their field of study matters and that when you get out of college, you're going to have to get a job."


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The following 10 college majors tend to offer limited career opportunities and lower earnings potential. Consider yourself warned.

10. Graphic Design

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  • Starting salary: $38,400 (median for all 128 majors: $41,600)
  • Mid-career salary: $57,800 (median for all 128 majors: $71,650)
  • Annual online job postings: 36,995
  • Related job: Graphic designer
  • Projected 10-year job growth: 6.2% (all occupations: 11.1%)

Studying graphic design doesn't lay out a great-looking career path, but looks can be deceiving. Graphic designers specializing in print--working at newspapers, magazines and other publishers, for example--are facing major cutbacks along with the rest of the industry. On the other hand, people focused on creating designs and images for mobile devices, Web sites and the like are in higher demand as all sorts of businesses look to develop and improve their digital presence. So if your heart is set on graphic design, skew your studies toward a technology-centric career path.

Alternate major

Better yet, try majoring in multimedia and Web design instead. The median salary for these degree holders starts at $43,400 a year and moves up to $59,500 by mid-career. With either major, you can land a job as a Web developer, in a field that is expected to add 23.5% more new positions by 2024. The typical pay is about $57,700 a year--better than the $42,600 earned by most graphic designers. Plus, it gives you plenty of opportunities to break into the hot tech sector and perhaps gain the work experience needed to become a highly paid and sought-after software developer (among our best jobs for the future).


9. Art

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  • Starting salary: $37,600
  • Mid-career salary: $57,700
  • Annual online job postings: 15,918
  • Related job: Fine artist
  • Projected 10-year job growth: 3.3%

Andy Warhol said, "Making money is art...and good business is the best art." Too bad the reverse is frequently untrue. Fine artists, including painters, sculptors and illustrators, typically enjoy very little pay, earning a median income of less than $29,500 a year. Demand for their work, after all, is dependent largely on people's discretionary income (and fleeting tastes); when times are tough, purchasing art is left out of most consumers' budgets.

Alternate major

Would-be-artists might take a page from Warhol's sketchbook and apply their talents to the more lucrative world of advertising. Recent grads with degrees in advertising can expect to make a median income of $41,100 a year and, given more experience, $77,500 a year. Marketing specialists, as well as market research analysts, are expected to add 28.6% more new jobs by 2024 and typically earn more than $60,600 annually.


8. Education

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  • Starting salary: $38,100
  • Mid-career salary: $54,600
  • Annual online job postings: 19,627
  • Related job: High school teacher
  • Projected 10-year job growth: 8.9%

Teachers are notoriously undervalued for all the priceless work they do guiding future generations. Preschool teachers typically earn about $27,250 a year, despite being in high demand, with a projected growth rate of 14.9%. High school teachers stand to earn more--their typical median income is nearly $55,290 a year--but the expected growth in this field is below average. Special-education majors tend to fare even worse, pay-wise: The median annual salary with this degree is $34,500 to start and $46,800 at mid-career.

 Alternate major

School administrators at all grade levels earn bigger paychecks than teachers, but these jobs also usually require more work experience or education. Another route you might consider is majoring in the field you're interested in teaching to specialize your knowledge as well as broaden your opportunities. For example, English literature majors (who often become teachers) have a median salary of $40,600 a year early in their careers and $76,500 a year with more experience. With this bachelor's degree, you can pursue a career in education or you can apply for a more lucrative job, such as a technical writer. This English-major-friendly profession typically pays nearly $68,400 a year and enjoys high demand, with a projected long-term growth rate of 15.7%.


7. Drama

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  • Starting salary: $35,800
  • Mid-career salary: $59,300
  • Annual online job postings: 21,881
  • Related job: Actor
  • Projected 10-year job growth: 10.2%

Meryl Streep has succeeded with her degrees in drama, but you are no Meryl Streep. Sorry. The typical actor earns a median income of about $43,200 a year--with nary an Oscar nomination in sight. And while demand for such players is just a shade below average, competition for every bit part can be fierce. Producers and directors command a higher median income, about $64,600 a year, but just 8.8% more new jobs are expected to be added by 2024.

Alternate major

It may be hard to sate the acting bug with anything but drama or theater, but you might consider majoring in communications, which can prepare you for jobs in advertising, public relations and similar fields. A communications major results in a median pay of $41,000 for entry-level workers and $70,600 for mid-career employees. Speech communications, focused more on the political track, turns out slightly higher earners--$43,100 to start and $74,500 after a few years.


6. Interior Design

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  • Starting salary: $37,100
  • Mid-career salary: $60,600
  • Annual online job postings: 6,194
  • Related job: Interior designer
  • Projected 10-year job growth: 6.8%

The past decade has not been kind to workers tied to the real estate market, including interior designers, who have seen their ranks decline by 5.7% since 2004. As the economy improves, more people may opt to spruce up their homes, which should help the interior designer field regain some lost positions. But housing is a fickle market, and anyone planning to be a part of it needs to be wary of the ups and downs.

Alternate major

Focusing on the outside may be a better option. Landscape architecture majors earn a median income of $42,700 a year early in their careers and $69,300 later. Landscape architecture suffered job losses over the past decade, too, but it is expected to recover most of the lost jobs by 2024 at a rate of 8.4%.


5. Radio and Television

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  • Starting salary: $38,000
  • Mid-career salary: $59,800
  • Annual online job postings: 1,651
  • Related job: Radio and television announcer
  • Projected 10-year job growth: -0.2%

Radio and television majors hoping to work in front of the microphone face poor job prospects. Announcers, including disc jockeys and talk show hosts, lost 8.4% of their positions over the past decade and are expected to just hold even in the coming decade. They also make a median income of less than $29,900 a year. Broadcast news analysts have higher earning potential, with a median annual income of nearly $59,400, but there are currently only about 7,500 workers in the field, and only 4% more are expected to be added to their ranks by 2024.

Alternate major

Working behind the scenes may be a better bet. Film production majors can expect a median income of just under $40,000 to start and $72,300 by the middle of their careers. Producers may not be in high demand, but camera operators and film and video editors are expected to add 12.2% and 10.5% more new jobs, respectively, by 2024. The median income for the former is about $41,400 a year; for the latter, it's around $53,400 per year.


4. Animal Science

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  • Starting salary: $35,100
  • Mid-career salary: $58,500
  • Annual online job postings: 7,747
  • Related job: Animal scientist
  • Projected 10-year job growth: 8.9%

To become an animal scientist, who researches farm animals and food production, you typically need to get a doctoral degree. And considering that such professionals can expect a median pay of less than $63,400 a year, the added investment in your education may not be worth it. With just an associate's or bachelor's degree, you can become an agricultural technician, but you can expect smaller paychecks, too--about $34,800 a year.

Alternate major

Studying food science results in a more palatable payoff. With just a bachelor's degree, you can find work as a food scientist and earn a median income of more than $59,000 a year. With increasing public awareness of nutrition, health and food safety, you'll enjoy greater demand, too; 13.7% more jobs are expected to be added by 2024.


3. Child and Family Studies

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  • Starting salary: $31,200
  • Mid-career salary: $38,600
  • Annual online job postings: 67,439
  • Related job: Teacher's assistant
  • Projected 10-year job growth: 10.5%

It seems that people who study family values aren't very highly valued themselves. These college graduates earn the lowest salaries of all 128 majors we analyzed. Job postings seeking these degree holders include positions for a teacher's assistant, preschool or child-care teacher, family social worker and social service assistant. The highest paid of those jobs is family social worker, with a typical annual income of $42,120. Child-care workers are paid a measly median income of about $17,000 a year.

Alternate major

Direct your caretaking interests toward medicine and major in nursing, one of our best college majors for a lucrative career. These majors stand to earn a median $56,900 a year early in their careers and $73,600 by mid-career. Also, there should be 16.3% more registered nurse positions by 2024, bringing the total number of employees up to a whopping 3.2 million.


2. Music

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  • Starting salary: $37,500
  • Mid-career salary: $55,400
  • Annual online job postings: 4,253
  • Related job: Music composer
  • Projected 10-year job growth: 8.8%

Like acting, musical abilities are not a ticket to fame and fortune. The typical musician or singer pulls in about $41,700 a year, and the professions are expected to add just 9.2% more positions in the coming decade. Music directors and composers earn a bit more, with a median annual income of about $43,100. But there are currently fewer than 68,500 of these professionals, and only about 6,000 new jobs are expected to be added by 2024. (By comparison, there are nearly 185,800 musicians and singers working today.)

Alternate major

By all means, step to the music which you hear. But consider broadening your education and future opportunities by pursuing a second major. Physics, one of our best college majors for a lucrative career, harmonizes well with the study of music. Many schools offer a music and physics course that shows the parallel histories of the two fields and focuses on the science of producing sound. Northeastern University even offers a bachelor's degree specifically for physics and music. Physics majors can expect to earn much bigger paychecks, to the tune of $57,200 to start and $105,100 by mid-career.


1. Culinary Arts

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  • Starting salary: $31,900
  • Mid-career salary: $50,800
  • Annual online job postings: 15,918
  • Related job: Chef
  • Projected 10-year job growth: 8.9%

Low pay plus few job prospects are the recipe for a troubling career. Studying culinary arts comes with the second-lowest starting salary of all 128 majors, behind only child and family studies. Chefs can expect a median income of less than $40,500 a year, and you need five or more years of experience, making even less money, to become one.

Alternate major

If food is your passion, you might jump right into the field after high school and save your tuition money; most jobs as a cook do not require a college degree. Or you can focus your education on the business side of the kitchen, which might prove particularly helpful if you're an aspiring restaurateur. Business administration majors typically have a starting salary of $45,500 a year and $73,100 by mid-career. The degree also qualifies you for many more opportunities; more than 2.8 million job postings were seeking candidates with a bachelor's in business administration.


2014-2015 Worst College Majors Rankings

  1. Exercise Science
  2. Horticulture
  3. Animal Science
  4. Music
  5. Biblical Studies
  6. Child and Family Studies
  7. Culinary Arts
  8. Photography
  9. Social Work
  10. Art History

Kiplinger updates many of its rankings annually. Above is our 2014 list of the worst college majors for a lucrative career. Keep in mind that ranking methodologies can change from year to year based on the data available at the time, changes to how the data was gathered, switches to new data providers and tweaks to the formulas used to narrow the pool of candidates.


2013-2014 Worst College Majors Rankings

  1. Human Services and Community
  2. Fine Arts
  3. Social Work
  4. Early Childhood Education
  5. Art History
  6. Interdisciplinary Studies
  7. Studio Arts
  8. Mass Media
  9. Humanities
  10. Family Consumer Sciences

2012-2013 Worst College Majors Rankings

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

See Also : Best College Majors for Your Career 2015-2016 in U.S.


Source - kiplinger.com

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