Publisher lists 10 worst majors

If you ask most college students what they want to do after they graduate, they will mostly say the same thing. They want to get a job after college.

Still, for some students getting a job after college isn’t easy, especially for some specific majors. Kiplinger, a Washington, D.C., based publisher of business forecasts and personal finance advice, recently released a list of what they said are the worst majors for one’s career in terms of finding a job after graduation.

Kiplinger gave various reasons as to why they listed all of these majors as the worst. For example, English hasn’t fared well in the poor economy.

“Nearly one in 10 recent English grads struggle to find work, and starting salaries are low, a full 14 percent below the median for the top 100 majors,” Kiplinger said.

English graduates are having a hard time making money; making approximately $9,000 less than a regular bachelor’s degree holder. Their unemployment rate is 6.7 percent.

The list goes as follows:

1. Anthropology
2. Fine Arts
3. Film and Photography
4. Philosophy and Religious Studies
5. Graphic Design
6. Studio Arts
7. Liberal Arts
8. Drama and Theater Arts
9. Sociology
10. English

Sociology is a popular undergraduate major according to Kiplinger. However, they stated it shouldn’t be because of the numbers. Kiplinger said that sociology majors make about 14 percent less than other recent graduates. The unemployment rate for sociology majors is 7 percent.

The unemployment rate for drama and theater arts majors is 7.1percent, according to Kiplinger. They also said that the field of drama is very competitive, and the growth of jobs is currently at a stand still.

“Unless you’re Will Smith or Angelina Jolie, drama will probably not pay off,” Kiplinger said.

Liberal arts majors face an unemployment rate of 7.6 percent. Three out of four liberal arts majors will be forced to go to graduate school.

“No matter which college you go to, you are sure to find academics arguing over the value of the classic liberal arts education,” Kiplinger said.

The unemployment rate of studio arts majors is 8.0 percent and salary growth prospects are basically non-existent. Kiplinger said that this is because this major does not have a specific career path and studio arts is a broad subject.

“Recent [graphic design] grads face low starting salaries and super high unemployment – more than double the 4.9 percent unemployment rate for all college grads with bachelor’s degrees,” Kiplinger said.

Experienced graphic design majors even face this issue. The unemployment rate for graphic design majors is 8.1 percent.

A degree in philosophy and religious studies won’t do much for you in the working world. Recent graduates from this major make 19 percent less than graduates from other majors. The unemployment rate for this area of study is 7.2 percent.

Film and photography majors face tough competition for jobs in the field. The reason for this is because film and photography is a crowded industry. The unemployment rate here is 7.3 percent. However, Kiplinger said that film and photography majors are the best paid out of all the arts majors.

The unemployment rate for fine arts majors is 7.4 percent. The high unemployment rate is due to slow-job growth and a large amount of graduates in this major. Even if graduates do find jobs, the pay is pretty low.

According to Kiplinger, anthropology is the number one worst major for your career. The unemployment rate for anthropology majors is 6.9 percent. Recent graduates from this field make a mere $28,000.

“New anthropology majors face stifling unemployment, forcing nearly a third to take low-paying office or sales jobs,” Kiplinger said.
Several Mercyhurst professors gave their reactions to the list by Kiplinger.

Religious studies Professor Dr. Thomas Forsthoefel said that Kiplinger had biases that heavily favor business and finance.

Forsthoefel said, “Majors such as philosophy, religious studies and English, for example, cultivate, perhaps above all, the skills of critical thinking, close reading and lucid writing.”

He said that these skills are important in any field of work that one goes into.

Graphic Design Director Jodi Staniunas-Hopper said that her reaction to this list is two-fold. She also said Kiplinger doesn’t define what skills a particular Graphic Designer has.

“I believe passion, drive and skill trump all the nay saying. There is more to any career than the money you make,” Staniunas-Hopper said.

She also said that Kiplinger is not quantifying job satisfaction, just statistics.

Forsthoefel left one last piece of advice.

“Joseph Campbell was famous for saying, ‘Follow your bliss,’ and if students do that, their joy is a sign they are on the right path in their own unfolding process, and the economic issue will take care of itself in that process,” he said.