When you decide to go to college, you have to find a happy medium between what you want to do and what will get you decent work. A college degree doesn’t serve a lot of purpose if you can’t get hired anywhere, right?
So which college majors have the highest unemployment rate? The Huffington Post did a piece on this, and for 2011, the results were pretty interesting.
Let’s go through the list and see what the top 5 are.
- Educational Psychology
Educational psychology is the study of how people learn in educational settings and various factors that play a part in the effectiveness of education on children from various different backgrounds and in various class environments. An educational psychologist likely does some studies to determine the effectiveness of small, medium, and large classes, and works with educators to improve the education system.
The unemployment rate for this field is at 10.9%, higher than the national average, which is currently at 9.1%.
- Library Science
Library science encompasses many different disciplines, but essentially is the organization of information sources and archival thereof. How libraries and information are organized and presented in an orderly fashion so information is easier to find for the public or for people who need it is what library science is all about – a sort of large-scale organization of information. This field deals in information organization and archiving of information and its sources, which means that information technology is also a factor in this field.
The unemployment rate for this industry is a whopping 15%.
- US History
Our country’s rich and colorful history may be interesting to study, but apparently someone with a degree in this field has less a chance of being employed than other fields. It’s sort of ironic that the country’s historians and history scholars are less employable than others, but unless you combine this with a teaching degree, apparently you won’t be as likely to find a job as other majors.
The unemployment rate for this field is at 15.1%.
- Fine Arts Degrees
If you choose to study fine arts, then you may want to pull yourself out of the “starving artist” mindset or you could wind up with the 16.2% of degree holders that are out of work. This is unfortunate, as art is such a rich and amazing study, but no matter what kind of fine arts degree you’re pursuing, the unemployment rate seems to be higher. The good thing about artists, though, is that they always seem to keep doing their work no matter how poor they are, so let’s hope that the majority will fail forward.
- Clinical Psychology
I guess people are beginning to cope with their problems a little better, otherwise this field would still be thriving… either that or the average person is just too broke to go to counseling these days. Whatever the case may be, this is the degree with the highest unemployment rate – an astonishing 19%!
Choosing the Right Degree
How can you make sure that the major you’re going into has a lower unemployment rate or that you’ll be able to do something with the degree no matter what? Do some research!
There’s always that balance to uphold: doing something you love that will also pay well. Unfortunately, these two don’t always go together. I, for example, am majoring in Creative Writing – a field that doesn’t necessarily even have an unemployment rate if you acknowledge all of the self-employed people. Every author is either employed elsewhere or self-employed; with the internet and so many companies outsourcing, its common sense to guess that people will find alternative ways of earning money.
If you’re in it to make money, your best bet is to go to college for something such as nursing, business, or another growing field. Nursing is an especially good choice, because the medical industry is always in need of more professionals. Those brave and dedicated individuals that do go into the medical field definitely have to love what they do, anyway! Doing a little research can easily teach you how to become an EMT or a nurse, so if that’s your calling, then go for it.
If you feel like you have to follow your heart, then do what you love and blaze your own trail – if you can make money doing something you love, you win twice!