This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

10 Worst-Paying College Majors

By Dan Fastenberg

You probably already know college grads have an easier time finding jobs, and earn more those who only have a high school diploma. But that's not the whole story. Some college majors offer a much worse return on investment, with starting salaries that are no better than high school grads' pay, according to a new study released Wednesday. The study, conducted by the Georgetown University Center on Education and The Workforce, looked at 2010 and 2011 salaries and unemployment rates among college grads between the ages of 22 and 26. The startling conclusion: Some majors have starting salaries no better than the average salary of a high school grad, which is about $29,900 a year, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

Low Pay And High Unemployment: The worst paying majors tended to be in the arts, where the low pay in creative work is matched by high unemployment rates, with an overall average of 9% unemployment for arts majors. The overall unemployment for all recent grads is 7.9%. Several arts disciplines, however, lead to double digit unemployment, according to the study. That doesn't mean those who major in those fields are worse off in every way. In fact, as Forbes has reported, studies of college graduates show that liberal arts majors are "are as satisfied or more satisfied with their lives as their classmates in other disciplines."

Interestingly, however, several majors in technical fields have high unemployment rates, despite relatively high salaries.

Below are the 10 worst-paying majors, with average starting salaries and unemployment rates. (See also the 10 highest paying college majors.)

10. Film, Video and Photographic Arts

Starting Salary: $30,000.

Unemployment Rate: 6.5%.

9. Hospitality

Starting Salary: $30,000.

Unemployment Rate: 6.0%.

8. Criminal Justice / Fire Protection

Starting Salary: $30,000.

Unemployment Rate: 8.9%.

7. Psychology

Starting Salary: $30,000.

Unemployment Rate: 9.2%.

6. Philosophy/Religious Studies

Starting Salary: $29,000.

Unemployment Rate: 9.5%.

5.Social Work

Starting Salary: $29,000.

Unemployment Rate: 8.2%.

4. Fine Arts

Starting Salary: $29,000.

Unemployment Rate: 10.1%.

3. Physical Fitness / Parks Recreation

Starting Salary: $29,000.

Unemployment Rate: 5.2%.

2. Anthropology / Archaeology

Starting Salary: $27,000.

Unemployment Rate: 12.6%.

1. Drama / Theater

Starting Salary: $25,000.

Unemployment Rate: 6.4%.

More From AOL Jobs

Best-Paying Summer Jobs

10 High-Paying Jobs That Don't Require A Bachelor's Degree

What Does A College Degree Really Get You In 2012?

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
AAPL $117.81 0.00%
FB $105.45 0.00%
GOOG $750.26 0.00%
TSLA $231.61 0.00%
YHOO $32.94 0.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,798.49 -14.90 -0.08%
S&P 500 2,090.11 +1.24 0.06%
NASDAQ 5,127.5250 +11.3820 0.22%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs