While you should definitely study what you want to study, and pursue what you love, it’s important to be realistic about your ambitions. That’s to say, in today’s economy, which is still cracking more than one of Joan Rivers’ facelifts, you should set yourself up for success. And some majors result in less job prospects and lower average incomes. That’s just a fact. Here’s a few of those offenders:
Anthropology and archeology. While both of these fields are incredibly cool (think Indiana Jones), you’ll probably fight an uphill battle after graduation. According to Forbes, the median income for anthro majors is $28,000 per year. That’s not much, especially when considering the rising prices of rent, food, and living.
Film and photography/fine arts. Face it: did you really expect the arts would be profitable? While it’s a hard reality to face (who doesn’t love the arts?), if you major in it, you might find out all too quickly what it really means to be a ‘struggling artist.’
Philosophy and religious studies. It’s true: it’s the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. At least, that’s what Aristotle says. And he’s one of the best philosophers that ever was. No doubt, philosophy and religion are both extremely important; they might just not be the most practical.
Graphic design. The unemployment rate for recent graduates who majored in graphic design is almost 12%. Plus the median earnings for the employed ones is only $32,000.
History. While I, for one, don’t want to be doomed to repeat any big mistakes and so dearly appreciate the work of historians, I also don’t want history majors to be doomed by unemployment, which, according to Forbes, is all too likely to happen. Unemployment rates for history majors is currently over 10%.
English. As an English major, I myself admit that I’ve made life harder by choosing a degree that might not turn out to be the most profitable. That being said, when looking for a job, I’ll play up my communication, editing, and comprehension skills.
That all said and done, there’s no reason why you can’t still pursue these disciplines. If you go to a liberal arts school, you can take a ton of classes in, say, anthropology, but without majoring in it. You could also make it your minor.