When you're applying to, and getting accepted by, universities, it can be hard to decide which major to choose. There are already so many options that universities can provide, and based on the career path you want to choose, choices can vary from person to person.
However, times are changing. The same degrees that your parents may have chosen, or that your relatives suggested, may not even be valuable in this ever changing job market. To be frank, some majors are easily replaceable by other majors that can provide better career opportunities. Others can have heavy restrictions, such as a 5-yr undergraduate instead of 4, or a doctorate requirement for any kind of job offer.
Before you decide on a major, it's important to consider a lot more than just how it’ll look on your diploma. Switching majors midway through your degree plan can cost you both time and money, almost $18,000 dollars every delayed year!
Although some majors may be highly suggested by your circle or popular with your peers, it's important to look at real-world data and see which majors actually lead to jobs.
Let's discuss 5 majors that aren't worth it anymore in this modern job market, and why.
Although pursuing a medical career path may seem like the ultimate way to make a high income, it’s often not the case. There are hidden costs that make medical school a bigger expense than expected, which many students don’t consider when choosing a pre-med track. And if you want to pursue a high paying career with a psychology degree, a doctorate is almost always required. There are very few job offers in a psychology office for bachelor students, and even if you do pursue a masters, this degree will usually lead to jobs in social services or therapy/counseling, which only pay a median of around $50,000.
Although teaching can be a rewarding career, the average early career salary is only around $40K. Even if you look at the different teaching groups, such as elementary, middle, high, or even special education, all of them pay close to the same.
If you want to become a teacher, a masters degree is almost always required in many districts or states. With the average cost of a masters degree in Education being around $52,000, that’s close to a year and a half of your pay gone.
If you still want to teach, without worrying about income, consider volunteering on the side for non-profits or as a substitute teacher while you pursue another career path. That way, you can help students, while also making sure your quality of life is stable.
With the underemployment rate in hospitality being 58.6%, a hospitality major is a choice that may seem fun and glamorous, but can be tough to make a living. Although those with hospitality majors are getting jobs, most grads are not working at a job that matches their skills or abilities. Because of this, workers are earning less than they should. With a median early-career wage of $38,000, there are other majors that pay much better after putting in the effort of a four-year degree.
While other degree paths may be able to pay more once you have a few years in the workforce, the same can’t be said for English majors. Even five years after graduation, English majors only earn around $38K. Compared to other high demand majors, English majors have a much higher unemployment rate of 4.5%, which is almost double the unemployment rate of certain majors such as marketing and engineering. And even if you want to continue on the humanities path, most career fields that may require an English major, such as public relations, can also be fulfilled through other majors such as Journalism.
One of the lowest paying majors on multiple lists, earning a degree in the field of family and consumer sciences such as nutrition typically results in an income of around $37K. To compare, a minimum wage job can pay around $15/hr in certain states. If you do the math with a 40 hour work week, your yearly income will be around $31K. That’s only $6,000 less than a job with this major, which would also have cost tuition and rent costs while you were attending college. Instead of pursuing this pathway, consider searching for in-demand jobs and observing what majors or skills are listed in the requirements.
If you still aren’t sure which major to pursue, you can try PathMatch’s College Scoreboard Tracker to see which one would be a good fit for you. By searching up the salary of graduates from various majors and universities, you can get a clear idea of how your major selections stack up.
For example, if you’re debating about whether you should major in psychology or not, you can get a selection of colleges to choose from.
And once you select a university, you can see how much graduates usually earn.
Although you may be committed to working in a field that involves these majors, It’s important to recognize you can get a job even without a college degree. From PathMatch’s app that helps you to easily learn new skills for any type of role you want, to building a portfolio with your own projects, you shouldn’t need to spend money when you can learn these skills for free and at your own pace. Instead, invest in a major that has been projected to grow and has a clear pathway for future employment.
Want to learn exactly how to choose a major? PathMatch can help you match your interests to various career paths and help you learn the skills to succeed. Download the PathMatch app today!