Career choices are often based on personal interests, experience and earning potential – and increasingly, they require at least a college degree. What undergraduates choose to specialize in while attending college can be a good indicator of an individual’s financial future, and that’s not always good news.
Stacker researched the 50 least-earning college majors, using PayScale’s 2020 College Salary Report. This report, released in 2021, surveyed 3.5 million university graduates and 835 bachelor’s degrees ranked by the median mid-career salary, or the adjusted salary one receives after working in the field for more than 10 years. By definition, an adjusted salary combines the base annual salary or hourly salary, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime and other forms of cash income.
Stock compensation was not included when reviewing the annual salary of every major in the college, but can be a significant portion of salary for specific managerial and high-tech jobs. Additionally, the graded college major’s salary does not include the cash value of retirement benefits or the amount of other non-monetary benefits, including health care and other fringe benefits. PayScale salaries do not directly reflect those of the United States Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS). For most majors, BLS salaries are higher, even though the required level of education is the same.
Additionally, several low-paying education majors on the list confirm the plight of educators who graduate but can’t make ends meet on minimum wage. Between growing student debt and inflation, it is likely that many of those who major in the subjects mentioned will have second jobs to pay the bills.
Read on to find out which 50 college majors make the least money.
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