The most and least employable college majors

Physics major

Unless its Astrophysics, it didn't make the list of most employable college majors, anyway. Image: quinn.anya/Flickr/CC BY-SA

Most of us want to pick something that we enjoy and are good at as our college major. The plan is, after all, to spend the next 40-some years in that field. But in these troubled times, college grads are facing the highest unemployment rates since the beginning of the Great Recession. And of those who do find work, fewer than half find it in the field they chose to study. The fact is that some majors perform better than others in the job market. If employabilty is a prospective college student’s main concern, then the lists presented here should be invaluable.

Lists of majors

Below are lists of the most employable and the least employable college majors. They were compiled using census data obtained by the Wall Street Journal. They were published in the Huffington Post in November. The overall conclusion of the lists is that psychology and the arts should be avoided if you want to be highly employable. Medical and education majors, however, are good.

Avoid the arts

The arts are for those who are compelled to be there because of a unique talent they possess. They are the only ones who have any shot at employabilty in the field. The rest of us are nearly guaranteed perpetual unemployment.

Psychologically unemployed

Four of the majors on the “least employable” side of the equation are in the psychology profession. The good jobs in the field require a graduate degree, and it’s not possible for everyone to make the cut and get accepted into one of those competitive programs. The kinds of jobs offered in the field without a graduate degree tend to be the lower-paying ones.

Medical careers

We all need medical care, and generally that need increases as we get older. There are three majors on the “most employable” list in the medical field. Pharmacology was the number two most employable major, with almost no unemployment. Medical Technology Technicians — those who are trained to run specialized machines used in modern medical practices — also made the list.

Learning about education

Three educational careers also appeared in the “most employable” list. As in pretty much all fields, the administrative end pays better than the classroom instructor. But it is one way to channel some less lucrative class choices into a career. For example, consider becoming a working art teacher rather than a struggling artist.

Top majors

The most employable majors are:

Actuarial Science, Pharmacology, Educational Administration and Supervision, School Student Counseling, Geological and Geophysical Engineering, Astronomy and Astrophysics, Teacher Education: Multiple Levels, Agricultural Economics, Medical Technologies Technician, Atmospheric Sciences And Meteorology, Naval Architecture, Marine Engineering, Nursing and Public Policy.

Minor majors

The least employable majors are:

Clinical Psychology, Fine Arts, U.S. History, Library Science. Educational Psychology, Military Technologies, Architecture, Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Miscellaneous Psychology, Linguistics, Comparative Literature and Computer Administration Management and Security.


Huffington Post
Huffington Post
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