College Majors That Don't Pay As Well As You Think

College should be treated as an investment, not a mandatory milestone. Choosing the right major, having the right GPA, and networking with the right people will make all the difference in your earnings later on.

Pricing out the potential value of a degree is tricky. Much like with stocks and retail items, the amount people will pay for employees of a certain college major is affected by several factors.
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Things like where you went to school, when you graduated, your GPA, and even your networking during college will matter. However, one of the biggest factors in the value of a degree is the choice of major itself.

Some, like philosophy or dance, are notoriously low-paying and tend to struggle with student placement. Other low-paying majors, however, are surprising. Here are four majors that don’t pay as much as they should…

Communications

Communications majors are the ones who want to get involved in news, media, writing, and broadcasting. If a Communications major is successful, they could be the next big star of mainstream media. News presenters, marketing directors, and radio personalities all could find jobs with this major.

However, the problem with this major is the competition tends to be sky-high and wages tend to be very low as a result of the sheer number of people willing to work for cheap for a chance to get their foot in the door. Recently, this was cited as the college major with the worst return on investment by Salary.com.

Average salaries after years of work tend to be around $45,000—approximately the same amount you would pay for that degree.

Education

Sad as it is to say, being a teacher is not a lucrative business and often just isn’t worth it—even if you factor in the three-month vacation. As many recent statewide strikes have shown, teachers are exceptionally underpaid and at times don’t even get decent benefits.
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In many districts, teachers don’t even make enough money to live on their own. Though they are often respected by others for their selflessness, it’s clear that the money they should be receiving just isn’t there.

Average salaries range from $38,000 to $65,000 in most areas.

Psychology

Assuming that the college major isn’t followed up with a Master’s degree or a slew of certifications, being a Psychology major is a shockingly poor investment. A Bachelor’s degree in Psychology alone typically doesn’t go far in the job market, unless you are willing to work in nonprofit and social work sectors.
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Typical jobs using a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology include being Human Services Worker (salary: $22,000), Bereavement Coordinator (salary: $52,000), and CPS Worker (salary: $30,000). Ouch.

Health Services Administration

A healthcare degree? That’s low paying?! It’s more likely than you think. Health Services Administration is one of the lowest-paying majors in the United States college system today.

This major is mostly about dealing with paperwork, scheduling, and similar services in healthcare. With an average starting pay of $36,000 per year, this tedious and paperwork-heavy major might be one of the most shocking on this list.

Culinary Arts

Both one of the most expensive majors and one of the worst to have, a Bachelor’s degree in Culinary Arts is something that many students need to avoid. Depending on where you go for training, a Culinary Arts degree can top $100,000 in tuition.
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Sadly, the average starting salary for a major in this field is only $35,000. You don’t need a degree to be a good cook. The return on investment, therefore, is exceptionally low.