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College Majors that Don’t Pay Well

Going to college may improve your future job prospects, However, the fact that you may have more opportunities than someone who didn’t go to college doesn’t mean that you’ll be pulling in the big bucks.

Not that a college degree doesn’t pay. The average lifetime earnings with a bachelor’s degree is about 84% more than with only a high school diploma, says a study conducted by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. But don’t get caught up by the percentages.

As a whole, college graduates may do better financially. But in the end, it all depends on a graduate’s major, and frankly, some college majors simply don’t command high salaries.

1. Anthropology major. 

Anthropology is the study of humankind, and although an area of science, the paycheck that anthropology majors receive doesn’t compare with the paycheck of other science majors. The average starting salary for these graduates is around $28,000, and median salaries don’t fare much better at only $40,000. A big gap in comparison to other sciences with starting salaries over $50,000.

2. Photography major.

Maybe you have dreams of making it big and being a top Hollywood photographer, or perhaps an award-winning photojournalist. The skies the limit, but while you’re improving your craft and building your portfolio, don’t expect much income-wise after graduating with your photographer degree. Recent grads earn, on average, just over $30,000.

3. Drama major. 

Are you bored at the thought of being tied to a desk and working in corporate America? Do you find more enjoyment in the arts? Drama may be your passion, and dreams of being a Broadway actor or actress may keep you going. However, with the unemployment rate for drama and theater majors sitting at 7.1%, few graduates are able to turn their passion into a long-term career. And for those who do, the starting salary is only $26,000, and the median salary is$40,000.

4. Sociology major. 

A popular major for college students – and one with plenty of job opportunities – sociology majors can pursue careers in education, law enforcement, health services and business. But like the other majors on this list, the starting and median salaries don’t compare with other concentrations.

Some sociology majors have entered law school after completing their undergraduate degree, thus opening the door to a higher salary. However, this isn’t the norm, with many sociology majors earning an average salary of $32,000. And because of the high level of competition in this field, the unemployment rate for new graduates is 8.6%.

5. English major. 

You can do a lot with an English degree. Work as a copywriter, a reporter, a speechwriter, a teacher, or pursue a career in public relations. And while many successful, high-earning authors and writers no doubt majored in English, the median salary for recent graduates is only $32,000,

6. Education major.

Without teachers, there wouldn’t be any college majors. But despite the fact that educators have a huge role in shaping the minds of each and every person, the average starting salary of education majors is just $35,000, with mid-career salaries averaging only $54,000.