Slide Show | Originally published September 2015

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10 Worst College Majors for Your Career

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Going to college promises the opportunity to further your education, to meet new people and to get a taste of independence. It doesn’t guarantee a lucrative career after graduation, however. While it's true that a worker with a bachelor's degree or higher typically earns 79% more than someone with just a high school diploma, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, what you study can be a better indicator of your future employability and earnings potential.

We analyzed data for 128 popular college majors, looking at the typical starting and mid-career salaries you can expect if you major in them. We also examined recent online job postings seeking candidates with those majors, as well as long-term growth expectations for related occupations, to determine the demand for each of the courses of study.

Granted, the best major for you can't be measured by numbers alone. Your passions are equally important. "If you're not interested in a subject, if your values don't align with your occupation, you're not going to be any good at it," says Anthony Carnevale, director of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. "The important thing is that people be mindful that their field of study matters and that when you get out of college, you're going to have to get a job."

The following 10 college majors tend to offer limited career opportunities and lower earnings potential. Consider yourself warned.

For each of the 128 college majors, compensation research firm PayScale provided median annual salaries for entry-level workers (with five years or less of work experience) and mid-career employees (with at least 10 years of experience). Workforce research firm Burning Glass Technologies supplied the number of online job postings listed during 2014 that were seeking applicants with each of the 128 college majors. Related jobs were selected based on major-to-job mappings from Burning Glass and The College Board. Projected 10-year growth rates from 2014 to 2024 and median annual incomes for selected occupations came from Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI), a labor-market research firm owned by CareerBuilder. EMSI collects data from more than 90 federal, state and private sources, including the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

10 Worst College Majors for Your Career



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