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The worst nightmare of a college student has got to be graduating without a job. And the college major that a student selects can actually increase his or her chances of getting stuck in an unemployment line.
College majors that are hampered by high unemployment rates include a variety of psychology degrees, fine arts and architecture. The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce delved into U.S. Census Bureau statistics to determine the employment rates of 173 college majors; I crossed them against a list of the most popular college majors.
College majors with the highest unemployment
1. Clinical psychology 19.5%
2. Miscellaneous fine arts 16.2%
3. United States history 15.1%
4. Library science 15.0%
5. (tie) Military technologies; educational psychology 10.9%
6. Architecture 10.6%
7. Industrial & organizational psychology 10.4%
8. Miscellaneous psychology 10.3%
9. Linguistics & comparative literature 10.2%
10. (tie) Visual & performing arts; engineering & industrial management 9.2%
11. Engineering & industrial management 9.2%
12. Social psychology 8.8%
13. International business 8.5%
14. Humanities 8.4%
15. General social sciences 8.2%
16. Commercial art & graphic design 8.1%
17. Studio art 8.0%
18. Pre-law & legal studies 7.9%
19. Materials engineering and materials science and composition & speech (tie) 7.7%
20. Liberal arts 7.6%
21. (tie) Fine arts and genetics 7.4%
22. Film video & photography arts and cosmetology services & culinary arts (tie) 7.3%
23. Philosophy & religious studies and neuroscience (tie) 7.2%
24. Biochemical sciences 7.1%
25. (tie) Journalism and sociology 7.0%
Curse of the psychology major?
Five of the college majors with the worst job prospects on this list are related to psychology. Ironically, psychology is the fifth most popular college degree.
With the the housing market in what seems to be a never-ending funk, it’s no wonder that many young architects are collecting unemployment.
I’m also not surprised by the high unemployment rate of library scientists, particularly as some colleges and other institutions are questioning the need for large expensive buildings to house collections that can be stored on computers. I happen to know a young library science major and he’s been looking for at least two years for a job in that field.
Lynn O’Shaughnessy is a best-selling author, consultant and speaker on issues that parents with college-bound teenagers face. She explains how families can make college more affordable through her website TheCollegeSolution.com, as well as her Amazon best-selling book, The College Solution: A Guide for Everyone Looking for the Right School at the Right Price and her financial workbook, Shrinking the Cost of College.