It’s a harsh world outside of university, especially if your major doesn’t directly translate into meaningful employment. Maybe you were deeply interested in a particular field that doesn’t exactly bring home a paycheck. It is disheartening to find that your passion, whether it be metaphysical philosophy or maybe military history, is not a hot item in today’s job market.
Regardless of what major you chose, the job market is rough for young workers. However, having a college degree definitely helps. Recent graduates experienced an unemployment rate of 4.9 percent in September 2015. In contrast, young workers without a college degree averaged at 10 percent unemployment. While having a degree provides a significant advantage in this challenging job market, the type of degree you get makes a difference.
The data scientists at StartClass saved you the guesswork and compiled a list of the college majors with the highest post-graduate unemployment rates. We created this list using data reported by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. These figures, based on 2013-2014 averages, are updated annually using American Community Survey (ACS)results.
For each major, we provide the unemployment rate, the underemployment rate and the median wages for early and mid-career graduates. In this list, underemployment refers to the percentage of graduates in positions that don’t necessarily require a college degree. A recent college graduate is defined as those aged 22 to 27 with a bachelor’s degree or higher and excludes individuals currently enrolled in school. Mid-career graduates are those aged 25 to 45.
The list of majors with the highest post-grad unemployment rates is ranked from lowest to highest unemployment rates. Any ties were broken using the early career median wage.
Note: We did not include majors from the survey that are vague umbrella terms and lead to repetitive results. The majors we chose to exclude are “general social sciences,” “interdisciplinary studies,” “miscellaneous biological sciences,” “miscellaneous physical sciences” and “miscellaneous technologies.” If someone had two majors, only the first major listed was included in the data. Unless otherwise noted, definitions for fields are derived from the Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary.
See The College Majors With The Highest Post-Grad Unemployment Rates on Start Class