7 Majors Not to Pursue

15 Apr

Many of us were told as children that we could be whatever we wanted to be. That’s certainly true to a degree—we make our own choices about what paths to follow, what jobs to pursue, and how we’re going to get there. But many of us reach college without having a solid idea of what it’s going to take to get where we want to go. We major in things we are interested in without considering how it will help us get a job in the future.

Here are seven majors you may want to re-think. It’s certainly possible to study related fields, but consider something with a bit more practicality and employability built in than these:

  1. Architecture: Until the housing market crashed, this was a great career path. But now that we’re not in the middle of a huge boom, unemployment rates are at about 13.9% for recent college graduates, and about 9.2% for those with experience.
  2. Fine Arts: While learning art and art history from professionals might sound appealing to the emerging artist, as a degree it’s not really worth it. Unemployment rates for recent baccalaureate graduates is 12.6% and 7.3% for masters and doctoral degrees.
  3. Poetry & English Literature: Like fine arts, studying in this area will make it difficult to find employment after graduation. Simply studying a subject doesn’t prove that you are great at it—so don’t expect to immediately get a job as a writer. If you absolutely must major in English or poetry, consider pairing it with a degree in education to make you more marketable.
  4. Information Systems: Surprisingly, this degree is in the field of math and computers but still has a high unemployment rate of 11.7% among recent graduates. If you’re interested in computers and math, consider instead majoring in Computer Science, where the unemployment rate is much lower and demand is much higher.
  5. Music Therapy: With all the cuts to education these days, arts and music programs are the first to go. You’re not likely to find a job working for a school with the current economy, and there aren’t many other places for a music therapist to go.
  6. Anthropology/Archaeology: Unemployment rates for this area are at 10.4%. Again, those with graduate degrees in the area had a much lower rate of unemployment, but with tuition growing at an unprecedented rate and federal aid slimming down, taking on additional schooling is a bit daunting.
  7. Theology: It’s certainly an interesting topic and one worth exploring—but perhaps better on your own time. This is one major that won’t make you employable unless you join the clergy or decide to teach.
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