17 College Majors That Put Kids On the Path to Underemployment

Forbes recently published a list of 17 college majors that carry high underemployment rates.

Grads in these degree fields find it hard to get the jobs they went to school for. They tend to make less money than they should be making, and a lot of them live with this discouraging realization: “I might have just wasted all that time and money I spent on college; I’m not even using the degree I worked so hard for.”

Help your kid stay off of the path to underemployment.

college major

17 College Majors That Tend to Lead to Underemployment:

  1. Physical Education Teaching: 57% grads are underemployed
  2. Human Services: 56% grads are underemployed
  3. Illustration: 55% grads are underemployed
  4. Criminal Justice: 53% grads are underemployed
  5. Project Management: 53% grads are underemployed
  6. Radio/Television & Film Production: 53% grads are underemployed
  7. Studio Art: 52% grads are underemployed
  8. Healthcare Administration: 52% grads are underemployed
  9. Education: 52% grads are underemployed
  10. Human Development & Family Studies: 52% grads are underemployed
  11. Creative Writing: 51% grads are underemployed
  12. Animal Science: 51% grads are underemployed
  13. Exercise Science: 51% grads are underemployed
  14. Heath Sciences: 51% grads are underemployed
  15. Paralegal Studies: 51% grads are underemployed
  16. Theater: 51% grads are underemployed
  17. Art History: 51% grads are underemployed

(This information is based on PayScale data collected from 962,956 workers between 3/21/2014 and 3/21/2016.)

But wait–there’s good news in this Forbes report too!

In every one of these college major fields, some of the graduates are working. A good number of them (in some cases almost 50%!) are employed in their career fields, fulfilling their potential, making money they’re happy with.

What sets the fully-employed grads apart from the underemployed ones?

One thing I know for sure–the grads who completed extensive job shadowing and multiple paid internships in their career fields are doing far better than those who failed to complete these important steps during college.

You can see two extremely helpful posts I’ve written about internships here and here.

If your kid loves a field with low employability, have him or her try this:

Take the advice of Gwen Burrow from Find Your Calling, who tells students: “Ask yourself–do you really need two or four years of full study in subjects like studio art, creative writing, or theater? Is that something you could do with just a few classes, plus practice on your own time?”

Your child could also consider combining the less desirable major with a potentially more lucrative minor. Combine a “health care administration” major with an accounting minor, for instance, or an “illustration” major with a marketing, advertising, or art education credential.

I’m not sure I’d advise your kid to pursue a college major in Studio Art, Theater, or Art History…

Those fields are notoriously difficult when it comes to finding full-time jobs after college.

But I can tell you this. Being strategic about job shadowing and interning can make the difference between depressing, low-paying, motivation-sapping underemployment and a truly fulfilling long-term career that makes perfect sense.

(Many thanks to Gwen Burrow from Find Your Calling for the help she gave me writing this article.)

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Beyond the Internship

5 Strategies For Getting Hired Right Out of College

Today I’m featuring a guest post by internship & career success blogger Sharise Kent. Sharise spent 5 years managing a national internship program where she placed over 400 interns with some of the biggest media companies in the world. Her blog helps college students understand the value of internships and the importance of designing a career during the early years of college. Her book, The Internship Manual: A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting the Internship of Your Dreams is available here.

I invited Sharise to speak to my followers today because her advice is invaluable for parents who want their kids to get actual jobs after college.

internship

Many parents are dismayed when they find out that colleges don’t actually teach students how to get jobs. 

Students who don’t realize this early can find themselves with knots in their stomachs during senior year when their parents cheerfully ask, “How’s the job search going?”

These well-meaning parents likely have no idea—their soon-to-be college graduate doesn’t even know where to start looking.

What can students do?

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Top 9 Questions Parents Are Asking Me About LAUNCH!

launch

Purchase LAUNCH (or just look over its Amazon reviews) here.

There’s been an overwhelming, excited response to LAUNCH since it released on January 4th, 2017. Parent response to this book has already exceeded anything I ever thought possible. Whenever there’s a lot of excitement there are also a lot of questions, so here are the top 9 questions parents are asking me — along with my answers.

1. “Our son is only in middle school. Surely we don’t need to be thinking about college yet!”

Let me be blunt here. If you wait until your son’s in 11th grade to start thinking about college, 75% of the best ideas for getting him through college debt-free will be gone.

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“Help. Our Daughter’s Failing College. She’s Dropping Out.”

Actual Frantic Email I Received From A Mom Recently

What would you do if you found out that your son or daughter was failing college and dropping out?

Today I’m sharing the frantic email I received this week from the mother of a current South Carolina college freshman.

It’s my hope that this mom’s pain and heartache will light a fire under you to do everything you can to keep this from happening to your family.

(Subscribe to my free email newsletter using the form on this site, and I will help you.)

It’s also my hope that my answer to this mom will give you help and hope. This letter is used with permission. Details have been changed to protect confidentiality.

Remember, you can always find out your child’s current grades by waiting for him or her to ask you for money. When you get the money request say: “Sure, Honey. Would you just log me into the computer and show me all your grades first, though? I like to know what I’m investing in.” — Jeannie Burlowski

failing college

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#1 Thing Employers ACTUALLY Want In a “Just Out of College” New Hire

Does your child believe that myth, “If I don’t attend a top school, I won’t get a good job when I graduate”?

(You can see the article I wrote debunking this myth here.)

The graph at the bottom of today’s post is going to make you both you and your child feel instantly better.

internships matter

For every kid who fears that their college isn’t good enough, here’s great news.

Today I’m featuring excerpts from a brilliant article written by Derek Thompson in The Atlantic.

Thompson boldly tackles the question:

“Do employers really care what college you went to? What do they actually look at when deciding whether or not to hire a new college grad?”

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