Feeling Worthless? The 10 Majors Most Likely To Lead To Underemployment

Tyler Durden's picture

When it comes to worthless majors, it is no secret that "liberal arts" are at the top of the heap. This is the conclusion of not just the real world: a recent survey of 68,000 workers by salary information firm PayScale confirmed as much when asking the humanities majors themselves, and where employees with degrees in fields like English, general studies, and graphic design were among the most likely to report feeling "underemployed" at their current jobs.

Also, that the list was topped of by Criminal Justice majors probably speaks more about the current captured state of US crony capitalism than anything else.  But what is surprising is that graduates with more "practical" degrees in fields like business administration, ranking second in terms of pay dissatisfaction, also said their jobs didn't put their education, training or experience to work as much as they should. In other words, Wall Streeters thought they were underpaid. Actually did we say "surprising"... scratch that.

Some more from the WaPo:

Why the poor showing for business majors? PayScale notes that in many cases, a simple bachelor's degree in business might not get you very far - a more advanced degree like an MBA might be necessary "in order to set up recipients for jobs in their fields."

 

At the other end of the spectrum, STEM fields produced graduates with the least likelihood of underemployment. Engineering degrees accounted for six of the ten least underemployed majors. Law, physics, geology and mathematics made up the remaining four.

 

What causes workers to feel underemployed? Most survey respondents cited poor pay as a leading factor. PayScale also notes that "nine of the 10 most underemployed majors are female-dominated," making underemployment a factor in the gender wage gap. Conversely, many of the least underemployed majors are dominated by men, according to a 2013 Georgetown survey.

In total, about 43 percent of respondents to the PayScale survey reported feeling underemployed. It was unclear if the other 57% were just unemployed to begin with.