These Are The Most (And Least) Valuable College Majors In 2018

most valuable college majors 2018

Unsplash/Jonathan Daniels

Getting a job after college can be tough. You may be doing everything right, too, from writing killer cover letters to asking amazing questions in the interview. If you’re still struggling to start your career, it could be because of the major you picked.

Certain college majors afford you a higher salary in an industry with a lower unemployment rate and more. Basically, it could be easier to land a job after graduation if you were selective with what you studied.

According to a new study from, the most (and least) valuable college majors can really impact your earning potential, student loan debt and chances of being unemployed. Want to see how your major stacked up? Here are the five most and five least valuable college majors:

most valuable college majors 2018

Actuarial science took the top spot due to its average salary of $108,658 and low unemployment rate of 2.3 percent. Plus, graduates with this major are not required to hold a higher degree to truly climb the ladder in this field. Only 22 percent of professionals with this major have a degree beyond a bachelors, and with less degrees comes less student loans.

On the other end, miscellaneous fine arts came in dead last. With a low average salary of $40,855, plus a high unemployment rate of 9.1 percent, it might be the major your most passionate about, but it may also be the least valuable for your career.

“While it’s important to pursue your passion, students also need to look down the road and consider their long-term earning potential, the job market and the reality that certain professions require additional schooling,” analyst Adrian Garcia said in a statement. “In the end, it’s up to the individual to find the right balance based on what is most important to them.”

If you’re thinking it’s time to make a change in your career because your major isn’t affording you the salary or opportunities that you deserve, consider these four options:

1. Go back to school.

You can always switch directions in your career with another degree. Consider grad school for new career opportunities, but make sure it fits with your career goals and lifestyle. 

2. Move to a different state.

According to WalletHub, the best state for jobs in 2018 is Washington, while the worst is West Virginia. If you’re living and working somewhere in between, consider looking for new opportunities in other states. There may be more open jobs at larger companies with higher pay.  

3. Get out and network.

Even if you’re a bit rusty, get out there and network. At the least, you’ll be able to bounce ideas off of someone who could offer some valuable advice. At the most, you might meet someone who can help you pivot in your career and find a new job opportunity.

4. Apply for jobs in different fields.

Take matters into your own hands by updating your resume and applying for jobs that are out of your industry. Even if you don’t meet all of the qualifications, you should still apply. You’ve got nothing to lose and the hiring manager might enjoy getting a non-traditional candidate who could bring a new perspective to projects.

Do you feel your college major has been valuable? Join the conversation in our LinkedIn Group!

Check out’s methodology for more information on this study.


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