Choosing a major can be a daunting process, as there are numerous factors to consider. While you must think about what you enjoy learning about, you must determine what majors are considered valuable in terms of job prospects.
You can choose any major you prefer, but some degrees offer more prosperous opportunities than others. Your quality of life after college is important and earning a less than average income could impact your future in a negative way. Picking the wrong major may even make it impossible for you to find a job in your chosen field.
Before you decide on your preferred degree program, contemplate the least valuable college majors and why these options are considered less than desirable when looking at all degree options. If you determine you want to pursue one of these majors regardless of the potential for prosperity, you must learn how to plan for your future career.
Miscellaneous Fine Arts and Creative Degrees
Statistics show graduates with miscellaneous fine arts degrees earn less than graduating students with degrees in more lucrative fields. Projected annual incomes for graduating students with fine arts degrees hovers between $40,000 and $52,000 as of writing, whereas annual incomes for scientific majors are projected to reach about $100,000 annually. In addition to earning a lower income, graduating students with fine arts and creative degrees experience higher unemployment rates and often need to look outside of their projected career path to find employment opportunities.
A miscellaneous fine arts degree is categorized as anything falling outside of the designated fine arts majors. If you select one of the designated majors, you have the chance to earn more than you would if you were to select a major outside of this realm. Prosperous fine arts majors include:
- Art history
- Theater arts
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These majors are still considered less prosperous than those in the science, business and medical fields, though you have the potential to earn a better living when you stick to the designated fine arts course. When you delve into the smaller, miscellaneous art and creative degrees, you are setting yourself up to experience lower income and high unemployment rates, as there are few careers offered in these obscure fields. Some of the most common jobs you can acquire with these degrees include becoming an art teacher, an illustrator or a music contractor. While obtaining one of these jobs does provide income while pursuing your creative passions, you are going to make significantly less than others with concrete fine arts degrees.
History, Anthropology, and Philosophy Majors
Many of the degree programs falling into the humanities category are considered less valuable than degrees in areas such as math. If you are considering becoming an anthropology major, for example, you are going to have a difficult time finding steady work in your selected field. Anthropology majors are faced with an unemployment rate exceeding 10 percent upon graduation and can expect to make less than $30,000 per year, as of writing. This places you close to the threshold of the poverty line and may make it difficult for you to afford your student loans upon graduation. If you are interested in an anthropological career, take the time to research the most successful job options in this sector before committing to your major.
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Individuals who choose history majors may find they have difficulty acquiring a job after graduation. The unemployment rate associated with history degrees hovers around 10 percent as of writing, as many graduating students who acquire this degree typically become teachers, since there are few other practical job options for a history major. Teaching is a competitive field, as there are usually several applicants vying for one open position. History majors are more valuable if you choose to use your degree to work for a historical society or museum, though these jobs are considered competitive as well and typically require previous job experience.
The annual income statistics and unemployment rate associated with earning an anthropology degree are almost identical to the statistics provided for recent college graduates with a philosophy degree. On average, graduates with a philosophy degree face a 10.6 percent unemployment rate and earn approximately $30,000 per year. There are few careers falling under the philosophy sector, which makes finding employment after college more strenuous. If you are interested in the world of philosophy and wish to pursue this knowledge further, you may want to consider the idea of utilizing a philosophy minor and focusing your major in a more lucrative field.
What do I do if I have already chosen one of these majors?
Students who have already chosen one of these least valuable college majors can still make the most out of their degrees, regardless of what the statistics may suggest. If you are on the verge of graduating or you have recently graduated with one of these degrees, you may need to use your creative side to find a more successful career than the one you chose originally. Earning a college degree affords you the opportunity to earn more and to receive more job offers than those who have not received a college degree. You may need to adjust your expectations in terms of what type of job you can secure immediately after graduation.
If you have received a miscellaneous fine arts degree pertaining to the theater arts field, you can utilize this degree to pursue opportunities as a costume attendant and work your way up through the theater from the base point. Try to sell the traits you have learned in a fine arts field in a nontraditional way when you are applying for jobs. Highlighting your research and communication skills can help convince employers to offer you a job in a field you have not received your degree in, as you are still prepared to handle the tasks of the position. Find new ways of using the skills and knowledge you have acquired through your degree program to enhance your prospects.
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