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8 Worst Paying College Degrees


Ever wonder if what you’re studying is one of the worst paying college degrees? It might be! According to statistics from Payscale, which annually compiles a list of best paid college degrees, we’ll tell you what your college degree is really worth, as well as which 8 degrees are least lucrative.

8. Food and Nutrition

The experts giving you advice on calorie-crunching and fighting child obesity with healthy meals in schools aren’t making much! The average starting salary of a food and nutrition worker is $41,700 a year.

7. Social Workers

As you might have expected, social welfare doesn’t pay much, even if you pursue it as a life-long career. The average starting salary for a social worker is just over $33,000 a year, and the average mid-career salary barely tops $40,000 a year.

6. Horticulture

Horticulture is the science or art of cultivating fruits, vegetables, flowers, or ornamental plants. However, green thumbs do not usually make a lot of green. The average starting salary is a mere $37,200 a year.

5. Hospitality and Tourism

Ever wonder why the bell boy gets so angry when you don’t give him a tip? Perhaps it’s because he has one of the worst paying college careers. The United States hospitality experts make around $37,000 a year.

4. Fine Arts

You’ve probably heard the term “starving artist” before. While it may be a (slight) exaggeration, fine arts still makes the list of worst paying college careers. The average salary for an artist is only $35,800 a year.

3. Theology/Religion Studies

An austere lifestyle is cards for religion college majors, whether or not that’s a choice they wittingly make. An average annual salary for students of religion is $34,800

2. Music

While a noble, timeless and creative profession, the average starting salary of $34,000 makes music one of the worst paying college careers. Really makes you wonder about the job you’ll take after graduation, doesn’t it?

1. Elementary Education

The educated and certified teachers of those that shape our future are some of the lowest paid employees in the country, with the average yearly pay at just about $33,000 a year.

So even though a professionally written resume will help score you a job, your chances of earning a high salary in these fields are slim. That doesn’t mean giving up your passion! Just make sure you’re passionate enough to not let the list of worst paying college degrees deter you from pursuing your dreams!



3 Responses to “8 Worst Paying College Degrees”

  1. Sandra Says:

    Look beyond the degree. Degree titles are not the same as job titles. I have a degree in Fine Arts and use what I learned about design every day in my job as a marketing communications manager. I certainly earn far more than the stated salary.

  2. Polina at University Language Says:

    I absolutely agree, Sandra! It’s all about what you do with the degree you have.

  3. Nathaniel Pulgarin Says:

    I think business law colleges like harvard and auburn persuade students away from acquiring degrees in other categories, does everyone really have to get a degree in business, law or to be a doctor

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