College once was an institution for educating society’s best and brightest to their highest potential. Later, a degree came to be seen as a guaranteed ticket to the middle class. During the 1990s, promoting higher education for the masses became a big effort. That social experiment demonstrated that not just any degree is worthwhile.
Low ROI majors
- Athletic training: $34,800
- Culinary arts $34,800
- Theology: $34,000
- Special education: $33,800
- Animal science: $33,600
- Social work: $33,000
- Broadcast journalism: $32,700
- Exercise science: $32,600
- Elementary education: $32,200
- Child & family studies: $30,300
Many of the above salaries will increase during mid-career, but some less so. Why get deeply indebted for a degree that gets only fifteen bucks an hour, taking years to improve? Further, traditional housewives always have been experts at both culinary arts and child/family studies, even illiterate Bronze Age peasants.
Low opportunity majors
For many “soft studies” degrees, there’s a very limited market for new graduates. Career paths for an art history Ph.D. are:
- Museum curator
- Art history professor
- Fivebucks Coffee
How many unfilled job openings at museums requiring Ph.D. knowledge are there? New York City is the Mecca of the American art scene (though say what you will about today’s recent quality). The Big Apple has a few dozen art museums, but in a city of 8.5 million, that’s ...
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