The most — and least — valuable college degrees
You might need therapy if you pick this major.
Clinical psychology is the least valuable major, according to a new study from TheCashlorette.com, a division of personal finance site Bankrate.com, which compared median incomes and unemployment rates for U.S. adults with just a bachelor’s degree across 173 different majors. This low ranking is because people with this major have the highest unemployment rate of all majors (more than 8%) and a median income ($43,000) that’s in the bottom 10 of all majors.
Fine Arts and English majors shouldn’t be sighing with relief just yet though. The second least valuable major is Miscellaneous Fine Arts (7.5% unemployment, $47,0000 median income), in which you might study a variety of different fine arts. The third least valuable is Composition and Rhetoric (6.6%, $46,000), a type of English major in which you study things like rhetorical history, theory and criticism. Four of the least valuable majors are arts majors and two are psych majors.
10 least valuable college majors
Miscellaneous Fine Arts
Composition and Rhetoric
Human Services and Community Organization
Drama and Theater Arts
Visual and Performing Arts
Film, Video and Photographic Arts
Anthropology and Archaeology
Meanwhile, almost all of the top 20 majors are either in engineering, science or computer science. Petroleum engineering nabs the No. 1 spot with an unemployment rate of just 2.38% and a median income of more than $135,000. That’s followed by Pharmacy Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration (unemployment 2.67%, median income $117,000) and Geological and Geophysical Engineering (1.1% and $99,000).
10 most valuable college majors
Pharmacy Pharmaceutical Sciences And Administration
Geological And Geophysical Engineering
Mining And Mineral Engineering
Naval Architecture And Marine Engineering
Mathematics And Computer Science
But don’t go switching your major from psychology to engineering just yet. Psychologists with advanced degrees earn good money — roughly $75,000 a year, according to government data. Even better, job prospects are excellent. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that “employment of psychologists is projected to grow 19% from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations.”
What’s more, the Bankrate study only looked at unemployment and median income to determine the most and least valuable majors — not how happy different majors were with their careers. One survey found that 70% of psychology majors said they were satisfied with their jobs, a number that’s higher than for computer science majors, for example.
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