The astronomical cost of college today makes finding an appropriate major even more important. Making the most of your college education is vital to your career success. While finding something you love is a blessing, being open-minded about the job market and employment opportunities is mandatory.
If you are going to spend tens of thousands of dollars for college, you need to get a quality education that will earn a living commensurate with the cost you will incur. There are no guarantees that you will get a job and start a career in any field, but selecting a poor college major is one way to add a large obstacle in your career path.
Parents need to help students by offering a future employment – reality check. Before deciding on a major, students need to engage in a serious discussion about job prospects with their desired degree. If there are no jobs or the potential earnings are inadequate, another major should be considered.
Here are six college majors with limited opportunity for employment upon graduation:
1. Religion: Having this degree will be useful if you plan to become a priest, pastor or minister. But most of these positions of God come with free training and offer heavenly rewards, not monetary. It can be hard to pay off your high student loans on a pastor’s salary. Traditional colleges are not the road to take if you are looking to devote your life to religion.
2. English Literature: It is wonderful to be well versed in English literature, but what positions do you apply for upon graduation. Maybe a book editor or a writer, but they require different skills, so that may not pan out without additional degrees or training. Unless you plan to get a masters degree and teach, avoid this degree or you may be well versed and working as a bookstore clerk. Paying the bills would be no easier and your student loans will add a large burden to your monthly cash flow.
3. Anthropology: Very few opportunities exist for recent graduates in this field and over the coming years, there will be even less. While this may be an interesting and enjoyable hobby for many individuals, it is not a promising career alternative. Something in the medical sciences would be a better alternative and provide many different avenues for career advancement.
4. Fine Arts or Photography: Being an artist or photographer is a wonderful talent and can be enjoyable to envision your final work. But the reality is that careers in this area are not very profitable or plentiful. With the advent of great cell phone cameras and sophisticated, easy to use editing programs, digital arts and photography have become simple for the average person to get great results.
5. Music: If you are talented and focused, you will be successful. Normally that is true, but careers in music are very hard to come by. They success rates are similar to those of professional athletes. Many great voices, many great musical minds are left behind as only the top 1% actually make a reasonable living in this field. It can be a great side job or hobby, but if you are planning to make it a career, it will be a bumpy road.
6. Exercise Science: For those considering this major, please re-consider. Your employment opportunities are no better than if you were an athlete in high school looking for a job at a gym or being a personal trainer. Pay scale is generally low and there are no specific jobs that require this degree for employment.
Other problematic majors: Dance, Communications, American Studies, Philosophy, and Film. Each of these degrees has such a narrow focus with so few jobs available that you might have a better chance of winning the lottery than landing a good job. You can always go to graduate school, spend more money and get a masters degree in something else that would be more marketable, but these degrees by themselves offer very little potential.
Summary: These six majors offer less than a desirable potential for jobs upon graduation. Be mindful of your need to earn a living as well as pursue a passion. Unless you are independently wealthy and do not need to work, the cost of your education would be better spent building an enjoyable and prosperous career.