The Worst Subject To Major In Has Been Chosen By College Grads

According to a recent poll, the worst college majors are journalism, sociology, communications, and education.

By Charlene Badasie | Published

When selecting a college major most people choose whatever interests them. But since all degrees don’t hold the same weight once you graduate, it’s something that shouldn’t be taken lightly. The difference in prospects is striking when degrees are broken down by area of study. As a result, 44% of all job seekers with a tertiary qualification regret their field. Journalism, sociology, communications, and education topped the list of worst majors, according to ZipRecruiter.

Speaking to CNBC about the survey of 1500 college students, ZipRecruiter’s Lead Economist Sinem Buber said students are often drawn to those fields for reasons beyond salary and job security. But when they graduate, reality hits. “When you are barely managing to pay your bills, your paycheck might become more important,” Buber explained. Most graduates who studied something from the worst major group said if they could go back, they would choose differently.

Meanwhile, students who pursue a career in science, technology, engineering, and math are projected to earn the most overall. When compared to the worst major list, their top-paying counterparts earn $3.4 million more over a lifetime. As such, graduates entering the workforce with good career prospects and high starting salaries are the most satisfied with their field of study, the survey found. However, with every college application season, many families question whether a four-year degree is still worth it.

According to some experts, the value of a bachelor’s degree is fading and more emphasis should be placed on career training. Several companies are also dropping degree requirements for middle-skill and even higher-skill roles. This is especially prevalent in the tech industry which isn’t even part of the worst major list. However, a report called The College Payoff from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce maintains that earning a degree is almost always worthwhile.

People who hold a Bachelor’s degree generally earn 84% more than those with just a high school diploma. And the higher the level of educational attainment, the larger the payoff, the report says. Meanwhile, there are numerous reasons why some majors might make it difficult to find a relatively well-paying job. So it’s important to do your research to avoid any future regrets. For now, here are a few explanations for why a subject might end up on the worst major list.

If competition in an industry is particularly high, it will be harder for recent graduates to break into the field, PrepScholar says. Low demand for a profession associated with a particular college subject generally drives down salaries, making it part of the worst major group. As a result, a bachelor’s degree may not be enough to gain success in the field. Students might need to pursue a postgraduate qualification to find gainful employment.

Moreover, some jobs related to the worst major list can only be found in the public sector. And these jobs tend to pay less than work in the private sector. While they are on the “worst” list, these majors can still be great areas of study and lead to fulfilling careers. They are just a lot less lucrative.