Choosing a College Major: Steer Clear of These Low-Paying Options

Choosing a College Major: Steer Clear of These Low-Paying Options

Choosing a College Major: Steer Clear of These Low-Paying Options

Choosing a College Major,

As high school students prepare for the next chapter of their academic journey, selecting the right college major can have a significant impact on their future earning potential. According to a recent analysis by the New York Federal Reserve, certain majors consistently rank among the lowest-paying options within five years after graduation.

Performing Arts, and Theology Trail Behind

The analysis, which examined data from 75 majors, revealed that students who pursue liberal arts, performing arts, and theology tend to earn the lowest salaries within five years of completing their degrees. These three majors had an annual income of around $38,000, trailing behind other fields.

Other Low-Paying Majors to Consider Carefully

Beyond the bottom three, the study identified several other majors that typically yield annual incomes of $40,000 or less, slightly below the US personal income median of $40,480 as of 2022. These include leisure and hospitality, history, fine arts, and psychology.

Here’s a list of college majors that pay the least right after college according to the analysis.

Performing arts$38,000
Theology + religion$38,000
Theology + Religion$39,700
General social sciences$40,000
Miscellaneous biological science$40,000
Fine arts$40,000
Treatment therapy$40,000
Nutrition sciences$40,000
Family + consumer sciences$40,000
Social services$40,000
Elementary education$40,000
Early childhood education$40,000
Understanding the Factors Behind Low Wages

The reasons behind the lower wages for certain majors can vary. For instance, liberal arts graduates may face challenges in finding well-paying jobs that directly align with their skills, as their expertise is often not directly tied to revenue generation. Similarly, the oversupply of graduates in fields like fine arts can contribute to lower overall earnings.

Education Majors: Closer Look

Notably, education majors also tend to be among the lowest-paid groups, particularly in mid-career. This trend can be attributed to state governments’ struggles to keep teachers’ wages in line with inflation, a challenge that has worsened in recent years, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

Mid-Career Prospects for Education Majors

The analysis further highlighted the diminishing career prospects for education majors as they progress in their careers. Among mid-career graduates aged 35 to 45, those with early childhood education majors earned a median annual income of just $48,000 – a mere $8,000 increase from their post-graduation earnings

Choosing a College Major: Steer Clear of These Low-Paying Options
Choosing a College Major: Steer Clear of These Low-Paying Options

Credible Source for Career and Salary Insights

The New York Federal Reserve’s analysis, based on the most recent US Census data from 2022, provides a credible and authoritative source of information for prospective college students and their families. By highlighting the earning potential associated with various majors, this study offers valuable insights to consider when making informed decisions about academic paths and future careers.

In conclusion, while passion and personal interests should undoubtedly play a role in selecting a college major, students must be aware of the potential earning implications of their choices. By considering the findings of reputable studies like the one conducted by the New York Federal Reserve, individuals can make more informed decisions and better prepare themselves for long-term financial success.

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