The Worst College Majors for Your Future

By Danielle Wirsansky on July 22, 2018

College has so many options to offer. What dorm will you live in? What classes will you take? What friends will you make? And the most important question of them all, what will you major in?

Why is this question the most important? Because it is the longest lasting and farthest-reaching decision you may make in your entire life. What you major in will decide (or at the very least majorly influence) what you make your career and spend the rest of your life doing. This makes it incredibly important that you get it right and make the correct decision about what you are going to do.

No pressure, right?

But here you are, reading this article, so obviously, you have already realized how important a decision it is and you are interested in making the right choice. Right? Right! So read on to learn about some of the worst college majors for your future.

Infographic by Danielle Wirsansky

One You Are Not Interested In

A bad mistake to make is to major in a field that you are not really interested in. Why is that? For one, you are not going to enjoy your classes. Can you really endure 4 years of classes doing something you do not particularly care about? Which leads to the question, can you then go and spend the rest of your life doing it, day in and day out, too?

Majoring in something you are not interested in is also very boring. More than not enjoying it, you will be bored out of your mind as you will not really be engaged with what you are doing. Can you fathom a lifetime of being bored?

Another issue is that when you are not engaged with your work, you do not work as hard at it. You want to be successful in life, and a large part of that does have to do with your career. And to be successful in your career, you have got to work hard at it. How hard can you work at something you do not really care about? This leads us to…

One Based On Income

Another factor that you should not let control your decision of what to major in while in college is the projected income you will make at that job. Note the word choice of the previous sentence. A major’s financial viability should not, at the end of the day, control your decision of what career to have. But it is okay to let it influence it.

You want and have got to be doing a job that engages you and that you can not only bear but withstand working your entire life at. Yet you also want to make sure that you can afford to take care of yourself and live at a comfortable level. No one likes to struggle.

Maybe your dream is to be an artist, but you are afraid of being a starving artist. You have to think of it this way: not every artist struggles. But the artists that are truly successful are successful due to a combination of luck and hard, hard work. A lot of the time, most of the time, in fact, you have to work really hard in order to be successful (not just as an artist but in all other fields as well).

Are you willing to work as hard as you may need to in order to support yourself doing what you love? And is that field what you truly love? Do you truly love that field enough to work as hard you may need to in order to stay afloat financially?

These are all really important questions to consider when deciding which college major is the right one for you, but you should not let how much money you could potentially make be the only factor in your decision. Your future happiness is at stake, so it is a fine line to walk.

Think of it this way: Money can’t buy you happiness, but it does keep bread on the table.

One Influenced By Outside Sources

Another major that you should avoid choosing is one influenced by outside sources. Who are these outside sources, you may ask? These can be your family, for one. Your family wants what is best for you, but sometimes they can be blind to the most obvious things.

“You should be a doctor like your mother!” someone might say. However, they fail to remember that you faint at the sight of blood, that your stomach churns at the mention of bodily functions, and that smell of anti-septic leaves a bitter, acrid taste in your mouth.

“You should major in business like your brother!” a relative might suggest. But do they realize that you would have to take Business Calculus in order to get that degree? You might not suck at math, but you are just not calculus minded. I mean, you barely scraped through Calculus AB in high school! It was torture, pure torture—how are you going to be able to go through that again? And can you really see yourself in a career where you need to know and have to use calculus on a regular basis?

“What about being a Theatre major? You were always so good in the school play!” another person could recommend. And maybe that was true. Maybe you rocked it whenever you were in a school play. Or maybe you failed spectacularly and were awful, a hot mess on the stage (though it is very nice of that person to compliment you in spite of that).

And while you had fun playing around on the stage, it is not really something you could see yourself doing forever. The idea of doing the same show for more than a weekend? Preposterous! How do actors in a professional run not get sick of playing the same part for weeks, months, sometimes even years on end? And being an actor requires a person to be vulnerable, to lay their souls bare on the stage for an audience day after day. That might not be something you feel quite comfortable doing. Maybe community theatre is a better fit for you, rather than the rigorous demands of being a professional actor.

You want to live up to others expectations and you do not want to let your family down. Sometimes, they might even be applying pressure on you to make what they think the right choice is. However, the only person who really knows the right choice for you is you and you cannot allow someone to push or force you to live out their idea of what your life should be because in the end, it is your life and you are the one who is going to have to live it and bear the consequences of it, not them. You. So make the choice that feels right to you, not because someone told you that you had to.

One That Your Friends Are Doing

This point continues on from the previous one. Another specific, outside source that could influence your decision n regards to your major is your friends.

You love your friends. In fact, you adore them. You wish you could spend all your time with them—why not choose the same major as them so that you can take all of your classes together? You can intern at the same places. Maybe you can even work at the same place after you graduate?

Or maybe your friends are really cool, and you want to be as awesome as them. Look how put together they are. They know exactly what they are doing and what they need to do in order to be successful—and they are doing it. Meanwhile, you have not got a clue what you want to do or how to accomplish any of the things that you want to. So why not be like them? Pick the same major, take the same classes, follow the course that they have already set. It is not like you can copy a whole life, right?

The problem with these kinds of thoughts is that you are just riding on the tailcoats of someone else’s life and success. You are thinking about instant gratification—you want to make the present easier and happier. But your major is a long-term decision. It is a decision that you will have to live with your whole life. What happens when you graduate from college and go your separate ways? Who will chart the course of your life for you then? Will you be happy where you are when those same friends are not around to buoy you 24/7?

You cannot depend on your friends for your happiness. They have their own lives, their own issues, and their own private struggles just like you do. If you lean too heavily on them during your college years, when else will you have an opportunity to grow and learn to support yourself? Once you are out of college, that is it, you are done. You will no longer be coddled. You will lose a whole lot of support. So learning to stand on your own two feet while in college is incredibly important.

Remember the old adage: if your friends jumped off a bridge, would you jump off too? Think for yourself and depend on yourself. Share the ride with your friends, do not make them drive the car too.

One You Have Not Investigated

To round off the list of majors that you should not choose, another important major to avoid is one that you have not investigated. Maybe a major sounds glamorous or you think the jobs you can get will make you a lot of money. But did you know that a business major has to take calculus? Did you know that being pre-med means you might have to dissect some animals? Did you know that majoring theatre means hours and hours and days and days of rehearsal, most of which is outside of class time?

Investigate possible majors, and investigate them thoroughly. Know what you are getting into before you sign up for it.

The Real Deal

You have made it this far into the article, so you really must be invested in making the right decision for your major in college. And most likely what you wanted rather than quandaries to ponder and questions to contemplate was a concrete list, some cold hard facts, about what you should or should not major in. While of course there is no black and white answer, there are majors that statistically have higher unemployment rates and lower degree satisfaction, which should also be a factor in your decision regarding your major.

Top Twenty Majors With The Highest Rates of Unemployment

  1. History
  2. Computer and Information Systems
  3. Criminal Justice and Fire Protection
  4. Linguistics and Comparative Language and Literature
  5. English Language and Literature
  6. Physical Sciences
  7. Psychology
  8. Political Science and Government
  9. Sociology
  10. Fine Arts
  11. Physical Fitness, Parks, Recreation, and Leisure
  12. Commercial Art and Graphic Design
  13. Economics
  14. Communications
  15. Finance
  16. Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies
  17. Biology
  18. Business Management and Administration:
  19. Mathematics
  20. Mechanical Engineering

Top Twenty Majors With the Lowest Degree Satisfaction

  1. Plumbing
  2. Mining Engineering
  3. Carpentry
  4. Cosmetology
  5. Automotive Repair
  6. Medical Administration
  7. Computer Administration Management
  8. Miscellaneous Business & Medical Administration
  9. Military Technologies
  10. Accounting
  11. Construction Services
  12. Industrial Production Technologies
  13. Materials Engineering
  14. Hospitality Management
  15. General Education
  16. Airport Operations
  17. Culinary Arts
  18. Medical Assisting
  19. Operations Logistics and E-Commerce
  20. Civil Engineering

Top Ten Least Lucrative Careers 2017-2018

  1. Religious Studies
  2. Exercise Science
  3. Music
  4. Art History
  5. Paralegal Studies
  6. Graphic Design
  7. Anthropology
  8. Radio & Television
  9. Art
  10. Photography

None of these lists add up, huh? Nothing quite matches up. It just makes it all the more confusing, right? But do not worry. As long as you work hard and continually do and look for the best, you will certainly go far. Good luck in deciding your college major!

Danielle Wirsansky graduated from FSU with a BA in Theatre, a BA in Creative Writing with a minor in History, and an MA in Modern European History with a minor in Public History. While a graduate student, she served as the Communications Officer for the History Graduate Student Association and President/Artistic Director of White Mouse Theatre Productions. She studied abroad in London, England for the Spring 2015 semester at FSU's study center for the Playwriting Program and interned for the English National Theatre of Israel in Summer of 2015. Her first musical, City of Light, opened as part of FSU's New Horizons Festival in Spring of 2016. She has also won the MRCE and URCAA Research grants from FSU. In the past, she served as the Marketing Director for the FSU Student Theatre Association, the intern for the Holocaust Education Resource Council, and the research assistant of Prof. Nathan Stoltzfus. She has previously written for Context Florida (Contributing Writer), USA Today College (Contributing Writer), Sheroes of History (Contributing Blogger), No(le)Reservations (Contributing Blogger), Female, Reloaded (Arts/Entertainment Editor) , I Want a Buzz Magazine (intern), Mandarin Newsline (youth arts update columnist), Distink Designs (Guest blogger), (associate editor), (associate editor), Spark TLH (Contributor), the Tallahassee Democrat (contributor), Elan Literary Magazine (Head of Marketing), and the Improviser Newspaper (Opinions Editor). Danielle has been lucky to be writing for Uloop since 2015 and to have served as the FSU Campus Editor since 2015.

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