Skip to comments.2012's Worst Paying College Degrees
Posted on 11/29/2012 8:48:03 AM PST by Kaslin
Payscale.com analyzed the data in its online salary database and has revealed the college degrees that go along with the jobs that have the lowest median pay for their respective career professionals in its 2012-13 College Salary Report. Note - these figures represent the typical annual combination of pay, bonuses, commissions and profit sharing earned by people who have been successful in working in these fields for at least 10 years and were willing to participate in Payscale.com's survey, which means the reported median incomes will likely be inflated above each field's actual median incomes....
||Median Annual Salary|
||Child and Family Studies||
So what possesses people to take out big student loans to go into professions like these that offer such little compensation? Payscale.com offers the following insight:
"According to our research, people in these majors typically believe their work makes the world a better place," says PayScales lead analyst Katie Bardaro.
To translate, the people in these majors are perhaps so disconnected from reality that they do not recognize that the reason their trades provide so little return on their educational investment is because they really do not require unique ability, which is why society does not reward them with greater compensation.
These people are then exploited by the higher education establishment, which really does know better, but can't help noticing that these same people are willing to pay nearly the same amount of money for their college degrees as do people in careers that society values a lot more.
And let's not forget the role of the U.S. federal government in guaranteeing and issuing student loans, which has its own ulterior motives for pushing higher education that offers little real benefit to society.
Say what you will about the careers that go with the degrees above, but at least many of the people who pursue these degrees might actually get jobs in their fields of study, if only low paying ones. Kiplinger's Caitlin Dewey takes things several steps further and identifies the college degrees in Payscale.com's database that combine low pay with high rates of unemployment for their graduates!
Also, this isn't just an American phenomenon. Don't miss this perspective by a recent PhD graduate in Britain who complains that the "real world" doesn't understand or appreciate their skills.
Image Source: Global Elites.
When I was in college every student I knew in the School of Education had been on the verge of flunking out. It and the School of Social Services were the dumping grounds for dum dums.
How much do underwater basket weavers make these days?
I should say flunking out in some other discipline...
I’m done with my MBA, can I sell it?
Hey, I bet those degrees in Womyn’s, Queer, and various minority studies pay exceptionally well. (snicker)
I would call those rates of pay “not a bad living,” if you don’t have a lot of debt, and especially if you’re in a two-earner marriage. As the article points out, many of these can at least find jobs, either because they’re at low levels of the leviathan state (school teacher, social worker) or because they’re useful skills (cooking) or part of the leisure/entertainment blob (athletic trainer).
“Hey, I bet those degrees in Womyns, Queer, and various minority studies pay exceptionally well. (snicker)”
funny how those don’t seem to be mentioned, eh?
The first 5 of those college degrees listed lead to government jobs. A 40k/yr median income salary at full time employment with benefits funded by taxpayers is pretty attractive to a jobless liberal arts graduate in a nation with a real world unemployment rate of 20%.
My son studied astronomy . . . well, he took up space.
Medieval Plumbing degrees aren’t too well received either.
In the early 70s when I went back to college the School of Education was where the non-hackers in the real disciplines went. Second to that was the School of Journalism.
I call those the general victimhood studies, you know,
“I don’t want to conform to societal norms and I’m being marginalized for it so I’m a victim” studies.
Maybe it's something that gets one employed as a daycare director or government-sector pre-K teacher.
2012 Worst Paying College Degrees...?
Federal Government Ethics...
These education majors may not be as dumb as you think. Sure, they may not make a fortune as teachers but they certainly retire well. We have a friend who taught 6th grade for about thirty years. He and his wife lived quite modestly in a tiny little house in a very wealthy town. He’s now retired and living in Florida in a gorgeous home,drives a Lexus and travels constantly. They also spend their summers in a condo, on the water, in MA.
The five on the lowest end of that scale usually wind up in government jobs, so salary is misleading as they rack up tons of benefits not accounted for in salary.
My daughter’s boyfriend’s son who is in high school takes a class called Teen Living. That will prepare you for college!
Keep your child out of college for two years starting next September. Why are you working two jobs and missing vacations to saddle your beloved child with tens of thousands of dollars of debt? Keep them home. The universities will laugh like Snuffleupagus did over the Hostess workers, but you decrease the student population by 50% for a couple of years and the universities have to lower tuition.
They are a ticket to high-paying non-job jobs, like employment consulting, sensitivity consulting, curriculum design, corporate community relations etc.
There are probably 25,000+ jobs in the DC area that pay people $150K+ per year to do almost nothing.
If you are sued by the EEOC over perceived discrimination by a protected class, you can point to your employees or outside consultants who have one of these degrees to highlight how progressive and compliant you are.
It is insurance against rent-seeking.
I can believe that for the Special Education category. If they are going to devote their lives helping children with various disabilities, then God Bless them. Tough work, and appreciated work.
Every young man would be better off learning some “skills” than he would going to college this fall.
With the “shift” that’s coming,
growing your own food is going to be much more valuable than most of the degree offerings and the “high level indoctrination centers” these days.
That’s true about most retired teachers I know. They are living very well in their retirements. I don’t think the same will be said of the next generation of teachers.
The benes just aren’t there any more. Most jurisdictions are now hurting because they were so generous with the older generation of teachers and public servants.
My son is in the local community college, studying electrical engineering technology, and working nearly full-time at Tractor Supply. He lives at home and I am happy to have him taking his time. By the time he has a bachelor’s degree, the RATS may have finally self-destructed, and there will be jobs.
This story was floating around FR a month ago, I think. There are soooooooo many degrees missing from the list ... all of the PC ones.
Education is an odd major. If you want to be a teacher, you would normally get a degree in some field, and then get a masters in Education.
I guess if you want to teach general elementary school, you’d get an education degree.
Interestingly, while education in general pays low for a college degree, the unemployment rate for people with education degrees is very low.
5 of the top 20 employment fields for POPULAR majorgs are education degrees; all are higher than civil engineering.
BTW, 5 of the top 7 fields are medical; the other two are agriculture and industrial production. I would NOT have guessed those last two.
My field, electrical engineering, came in 25th, tied with math and environmental science. Behind civil engineering, which in my day was the engineering field for people who couldn’t pass real engineering courses..... :-)
I can say that because my wife is a civil engineer.
BTW,the top 5 employment majors aren’t popular ones. And they include computer science, which I would have thought would be a very popular major and would not have good employment numbers because I thought there would be a glut of programmers.
Geological and geophysics engineering 0%
Physical science 2.5%
Math/computer science 3.5%
I wonder why every astronomy major gets a job?
How did they arrive at those figures? Those salaries are pretty good by local standards. The University of Kentucky, for example, pay less than any of those salaries above for Research Analysts or Principle Lab Techs with Master’s degrees in scientific fields.
How about salaries and employment rates for African-American Studies, Women’s Studies, Queer (their term, not mine) Studies, etc.?
Not listed is degrees in theology. Some of these people takes vows of poverty, outright. Others are doomed to poverty by their choice. Rarely do you become the pastor of a mega church.
That would be interesting to find out, but apart from a few people gaining high-paying gov. jobs off their worthless degree, I’m betting a very large majority of grads with those degrees can’t use them. I mean can anyone believe any student who would choose those areas over legitimate studies would be a good worker? If I’m an non-governmental employer, and I see some prospective hiree has a degree in any of those “studies,” they’ll get shown the door quickly. How many high school valedictorians choose the victitude degrees? I’m betting close to zero.
You’re likely correct. I started college not really knowing what I wanted to do. Not highly ambitious. I went into special education. I was able to help but remain detached enough not to feel sorry for .my students.
I home educated my kids all through school and went back to teaching. I loath public schools so I teach “at risk” teenage boys with emotional disabilities. Article says that job has no set of unique skills. Ha! Okay. I guess I’m too uneducated to know better.
Most people wouldn’t last a couple of days in here much less teach. There is a specific set of skills needed to do this job.
That’s what I’m in the process of doing. Actually, most teachers don’t require a masters in education. 4 year degree in the subject you plan to teach. :)
Money is important, but it doesn't lead to happiness in life.
Exactly. Not everyone goes into their field for the salary. In time, I knew I was made to work around children/teens with emotional disabilities. I even take less pay to work where there is no teacher union and I can actually teach and use my God given common sense.
It’s not always about the money.
I can honestly say if I lost my job....I would continue to help these boys even as a volunteer.
How much do poetry majors pull in a year?
But sadly it is coming to that—needing a masters or becoming ‘highly qualified’. I am feeling pressure to get certified in a second content area. Sp. Ed. is barely enough these days.
Boomers wonder why their kids are getting pissed off -> look at overcertification as to why. I’m still being tied up in certification here.
Want to shock a boomer’s kid - tell him what your pay was and the qualifications you required. ;)
I’ve been teaching English in public schools for 8 years now and I love it. My kids are now laboriously working away on a 5 paragraph argumentative essay while I leisurely post on FreeRepublic. As Montissori said, “The best teacher is one where the students work as if the teacher didn’t even need to be there.”
Since I’m a non-union state teacher, I also make less than most of those “lowest paying jobs”.
I wonder what a degree in transgendered studies pays?
I’m not saying that all were dumb. I’m sure there were lots of kids who went to college intending all the while to be teachers. Some who had a true burning desire to teach (students with this kind of teacher are really, really lucky).
That’s not a bad gig.
I’m a non-union Catholic school teacher. Part-time for now - they want me to get my certs for Texas, so I’ve been applying and hoping to get in. Oh well, I guess what will be going on 3 years of experience makes me ‘inadequately qualified.’ *sigh*.
In the case of teachers, they are well compensated on a basis of hours worked per year plus benefits. By the time they've put in 30 years, they are well compensated... even highly compensated.
-—in ‘58 -’62 when I was an engineering student, it was already the watchword that if you flunked out of engineering -or any science oriented field—you could go into “Education” and graduate-—
We live in a rural community, small school, two teachers, 20-25 students, nx nearest school two hundred miles away. A few years back, there was some talk about closing the school as occurs from time to time. Wifey said it wasn’t in the cards due to the numbers of intensive spec ed. She said that she would retire and continue teaching the same kids half days rather than leaving the area. No joke, that’s how satisfied she is with her career. How many other freepers honestly feel the same about their careers?
>>Im a non-union Catholic school teacher. Part-time for now - they want me to get my certs for Texas, so Ive been applying and hoping to get in. Oh well, I guess what will be going on 3 years of experience makes me inadequately qualified. *sigh*.
If you’ve been teaching for 3 years, you’ve done the hardest part. I agree that NCLB doesn’t help teachers that are qualified but have to jump through hoops to get certification but it does definitely stop the unqualified ones!
One theory is that they may not be employed in their field, but that their degree has provided them with good math and science skills. Also, a lot of hard science degree programs use computers extensively so the graduates will leave college with 'X' degree but actually be quite proficient in computer programming as well.