How to pick a college major: choose wisely if you want to get a job


By web gangsta | Published:

Panicked Student's Guide to Choosing a College Major: How to Confidently Pick Your Ideal PathPanicked Student’s Guide to Choosing a College Major: How to Confidently Pick Your Ideal Path

Web Watch remembers we had difficulty choosing our college major.

We certainly wanted an easy path (hey, who wants to work hard while in college?). But the selections that were offered were not necessarily in any direction that we wanted to take.

So we ended up with a major and two minors, all of which are not at all where we ended up going as a career — so it really didn’t matter what we choose.  And years later, after you’ve established yourself in a successful job, what you did in college really doesn’t have any affect anymore… well, except what you post on Facebook, which will follow you to your grave.

But one thing that college students should look at when choosing a potential major is whether they’ll be able to get a job right out of college with it.  Sadly, not all majors will lead to that initial lucrative paycheck that can help you begin paying back your student loans.

Here’s a list of the 25 college majors that have the highest unemployment rate, courtesy of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce.  Here are the top (worst) 15:

  1. Clinical psychology – 19.5%
  2. Miscellaneous fine arts – 16.2%
  3. United States history – 15.1%
  4. Library science – 15.0%

    Yeah, take a look at the dropoff in percentages here.  From 15% to just under 11%.  Those top four major choices may be ones you want to avoid unless you already have a hookup.

  5. (tie) Military technologies; educational psychology – 10.9%
  6. Architecture – 10.6%
  7. Industrial & organizational psychology – 10.4%
  8. Miscellaneous psychology – 10.3%
  9. Linguistics & comparative literature – 10.2%
  10. (tie) Visual & performing arts; engineering & industrial management – 9.2%
  11. Engineering & industrial management – 9.2%
  12. Social psychology – 8.8%
  13. International business – 8.5%
  14. Humanities – 8.4%
  15. General social sciences – 8.2%

So what majors SHOULD a college student pick if they want to make some immediate cash?  It might be worth checking out the 25 majors with the lowest unemployment rates.  The top (best) 15 are:

  1. Medical technology technician – 1.4%
  2. Nursing – 2.2%
  3. Treatment therapy professions – 2.6%
  4. Medical assisting services – 2.9%
  5. Agriculture production & management – 3.0%
  6. Industrial production technologies – 3.1%
  7. Pharmacy – 3.2%
  8. Communications & disorders sciences – 3.3%
  9. Elementary education – 3.6%
  10. Special needs education – 3.6%
  11. Miscellaneous education – 3.7%
  12. Mechanical engineering – 3.8%
  13. High school teacher – 3.8%
  14. Theology & religious vocations – 4.1%
  15. Management info systems & statistics – 4.2%