What Degree Has The Best and Worst Job Prospects in 2019?


A meme has recently emerged online that has probably made many scratching their heads. On the left side, there's Jim with a bachelors degree in philosophy with $100,000 in student debt and no prospect for a job, on the right side, it shows Joe who had four years of paid apprenticeship, makes $80k a year and is about to disconnect Jim's electricity for non-payment.

While this meme is truly hilarious for some, it does make one wonder whether it is the right choice to go to college in the US today. Well, a lot depends on the major, data shows. While taking some of the weirdest university courses might give you valuable life lessons, there are majors that can really hurt your chances to be hired to do what you learned.

The worst

Washington-based personal finance advisory website Kiplinger has compiled a list of the majors with the worst possible job prospects at the beginning of 2019. Among the majors on the list, there are some interesting ones that may seem as highly sought-after today: a major in advertising, for example, has worse career prospects than one in public relations, they say, while hospitality is routinely outdone by a hotel management major.

Also on the list, you find majors like animal sciences, fashion merchandising, fashion design, art and art history, graphic design, and photography. These are the majors where, according to the source, the demand for workers is low compared to other majors and so are the prospective yearly revenues (a photographer, for example, can expect a starting salary of $41k a year, which is barely enough to cover living, let alone paying back student debt and saving for retirement).

The best

The same publication has also made a list of the best majors to choose for stable revenue and a long-term career. Unsurprisingly, finance is a specialty where there are a lot of available jobs and thus, a bigger starting salary. The list also contains majors like architectural engineering, food science, economics, chemistry, and material science, business administration, software engineering, construction management, computer science, and many others. A lot of these degrees revolve around information and data, one of the fields that have already shown major growth in the last few years and will continue to grow fast in the near future, too.

When all else fails

Kiplinger has also compiled a list of the best jobs you can take without a college degree. According to their list, services sales representatives, user support specialists, power line technicians, storage and distribution managers, plumbers, tutors, flight attendants, and heating technicians will continue to be in high demand, and this translates into a decent annual income even without a college degree.  

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