On average, a college graduate earns double the pay of one who only has a high school diploma. But not all majors offer the same earning potential right out of college. While Engineering graduates enjoy the highest starting salaries, these particular majors may not offer a very good start (financially speaking) once you graduate:
1. Child and Family Studies. For several years now, Child and Family Studies has topped several lists of the worst-paying majors. A new graduate can expect an average starting salary of just $30,300. And it doesn’t improve as much when you’re already working for 15 years in your chosen career. People who majored in this field and who are 15-year vets earn just an average of $37,200!
2. Elementary Education. Here’s another major that enables you to work with children, and punishes you by offering a paltry starting salary. You can expect to earn just $32,200 right out of college. Like Child and Family Studies, after 15 years your pay isn’t all that impressive at just $45,300. That midway salary average is the second-worst as well. If you pursue this college major then make sure you really enjoy working with children, as you won’t be able to enjoy much financial freedom with that kind of compensation.
3. Exercise Science. This is the study of the human body and how it works when exercising. With a degree in Exercise Science, you can work in fitness centers and hospitals. You can also be a professional athletic coach as well. There are possible careers in research, but that usually requires post-graduate degrees.
The problem with this major is that the list of possible jobs you can get tend to force you to compete with applicants with more “impressive” degrees. For example, you can apply for a job in hospitals, but you’ll find that they will want to hire nurses first. The average starting salary is just $32,600.
4. Broadcast Journalism. You would think that this is a glamorous job, and therefore it should pay more. But that’s not exactly true. The starting salary for Broadcast Journalism majors is just $32,700. That’s mainly because you’ll be entering some sort of apprenticeship program first before you even find yourself in front of the camera.
As a fresh graduate, you better prepare yourself for a job that’s far from glamorous. Not only will the pay be quite low, but you’ll find yourself doing a lot of menial work and personal assistant duties at the start of your career.
5. Social Work. A lot of idealistic people want to help others and so they decide to major in Social Work. But the reality is not quite so fulfilling, with an average starting salary of just $33,000. Most of the jobs you can get are in government and charity organizations, and these institutions hardly offer the best compensation.
Of course, salaries are not the only important factors to consider when choosing a major. You need to consider your own interests as well as your talents.
Still, if you plan to major in any one of these fields, you better know right away that you’re going to have to sacrifice monetary compensation in lieu of other considerations. If you’re a single parent, then these fields may not be your wisest options.