15 Worst College Majors for Today’s Job Market

15 Worst College Majors for Today’s Job Market

College diploma and money | Thinkstock

The value of a college education continues to be reexamined in the real world. In addition to being saddled with student loans, graduates and even experienced workers face a lackluster labor market. While a degree is still considered an advantage, the right major can make all the difference between happily employed and woefully underemployed in today’s job market.

Some majors are clearly failing. Millions of Americans are underemployed, according to a new report from PayScale. The information firm finds 46% of workers across all age groups believe they are underemployed. The feeling is shared among both male (43%) and female (49%) workers.

The meaning of underemployment can vary by person. PayScale defines underemployed as having part-time work but wanting to work full-time, or holding a job that doesn’t require or utilize your education, experience, or training.

Not using their education and training is the primary reason why respondents consider themselves underemployed. In the survey, 79% of men and 72% of women say they are underemployed because of their education and training going to waste. The report elaborates:

People who can’t find full time work in the field they studied often end up taking part time work, or working in jobs unrelated to their field of study. The danger of underemployment is that if you’re not using the skills you learned and want to develop, those skills will atrophy, leaving you less able to compete for the jobs you actually want.

Additionally, underemployed workers begin to disengage from their jobs, resulting in sub-par performance, further damaging future job prospects.

In general, you’re more likely to feel underemployed if you’ve achieved a lower level of education — no higher than an associate’s degree, GE, or high school diploma. However, that doesn’t mean a bachelor’s degree is your ticket to employment bliss. Let’s look at the 15 worst college majors for today’s job market, based on underemployed findings from PayScale.

15. Paralegal

15 Worst College Majors for Today’s Job Market

Paralegal | Source: Thinkstock

  • Underemployed level: 50.9%
  • Underemployed for education reasons: 86.7%
  • Underemployed due to part-time work: 13.3%

14. Health Sciences

15 Worst College Majors for Today’s Job Market

Diet and nutrition | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

  • Underemployed level: 50.9%
  • Underemployed for education reasons: 77.1%
  • Underemployed due to part-time work: 22.9%

13. Exercise Science

15 Worst College Majors for Today’s Job Market

Exercising | Source: iStock

  • Underemployed level: 51%
  • Underemployed for education reasons: 65.6%
  • Underemployed due to part-time work: 34.4%

12. Animal Science

15 Worst College Majors for Today’s Job Market

Bulldog mascot | Ethan Miller/ Getty Images

  • Underemployed level: 51.1%
  • Underemployed for education reasons: 83.7%
  • Underemployed due to part-time work: 16.3%

11. Creative Writing

15 Worst College Majors for Today’s Job Market

Creative writing major | Source: Thinkstock

  • Underemployed level: 51.1%
  • Underemployed for education reasons: 76.2%
  • Underemployed due to part-time work: 23.8%

10. Human Development & Family Studies

15 Worst College Majors for Today’s Job Market

Family studies | Source: Thinkstock

  • Underemployed level: 51.5%
  • Underemployed for education reasons: 75%
  • Underemployed due to part-time work: 25%

9. Education

Cameron Diaz in Bad Teacher

Cameron Diaz in Bad Teacher | Source: Columbia Pictures

  • Underemployed level: 51.8%
  • Underemployed for education reasons: 77.7%
  • Underemployed due to part-time work: 22.3%

8. Health Care Administration

15 Worst College Majors for Today’s Job Market

Health care | Source: Thinkstock

  • Underemployed level: 51.8%
  • Underemployed for education reasons: 83.3%
  • Underemployed due to part-time work: 16.7%

7. Studio Art

15 Worst College Majors for Today’s Job Market

Photograph | Source: iStock

  • Underemployed level: 52%
  • Underemployed for education reasons: 69%
  • Underemployed due to part-time work: 32.2%

6. Radio/Television & Film Production

15 Worst College Majors for Today’s Job Market

Car radio | Micah Wright/Autos Cheat Sheet

  • Underemployed level: 52.6%
  • Underemployed for education reasons: 68.4%
  • Underemployed due to part-time work: 31.6%

5. Project Management

15 Worst College Majors for Today’s Job Market

Project management | Source: Thinkstock

  • Underemployed level: 52.8%
  • Underemployed for education reasons: 91.5%
  • Underemployed due to part-time work: 8.5%

4. Criminal Justice

15 Worst College Majors for Today’s Job Market

Criminal investigator | Source: Thinkstock

  • Underemployed level: 53%
  • Underemployed for education reasons: 87.4%
  • Underemployed due to part-time work: 12.8%

3. Illustration

15 Worst College Majors for Today’s Job Market

Underemployed illustrator | Source: iStock

  • Underemployed level: 54.7%
  • Underemployed for education reasons: 74.5%
  • Underemployed due to part-time work: 25.5%

2. Human Services (HS)

15 Worst College Majors for Today’s Job Market

Helping others | Source: Thinkstock

  • Underemployed level: 55.6%
  • Underemployed for education reasons: 82.2%
  • Underemployed due to part-time work: 17.8%

1. Physical Education Teaching

15 Worst College Majors for Today’s Job Market

Gym class | Source: iStock

  • Underemployed level: 56.4%
  • Underemployed for education reasons: 79.1%
  • Underemployed due to part-time work: 20.9%

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