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Majors, Majors, Majors….

Posted on June 5, 2013
By Nikki Martinez

As a supportive parent, aunt, grandparent,  guardian, etc., you’d love your soon-to-be college student following whatever degree that will make them happy. But the reality is that some majors just don’t pan out well when the job-world comes knocking. Trust me, it was a little bit of a shocker to myself to switch from being a Political Science major to Film and Digital Media!! Now, not every person is DOOMED if they choose to go these routes, but you may want to give your loved-one a little heads-up at least:

Major #1: Architecture

Did your son or daughter gravitate toward Legos as a kid and find skyscrapers endlessly fascinating? Sure, toying with building blocks and forts may have been fun, but nailing down steady work as an architect these days is no cake walk for a recent grad.

According to the Georgetown report, the unemployment rate for recent architecture graduates is about 13.9 percent. Essentially, the report blames this figure on the collapse of the construction industry during the recession.

Major #2: Fine Arts

Imagine your son creating magnificent pieces of art that are featured in well-known galleries. It’s a nice fantasy – right up until your newly-minted college graduate realizes how broke he is because he isn’t selling work, exhibiting in a gallery, or getting commissions.

The sad truth, is that this isn’t 15th-century Renaissance Italy when artists were paid by kings and queens to create artwork. In fact, according to the Georgetown report, there’s a 12.6 percent rate of unemployment amongst recent graduates who majored in fine arts.

Here’s why: In these tough economic times, there just aren’t a lot of people buying expensive pieces of art. So it can be tough to be a self-sustained, financially-stable artist.

Major #3: Philosophy and Religious Studies

I think, therefore I am. Too bad Descartes’ famous little ditty doesn’t carry as much weight when it comes to snagging a job with a degree in philosophy or religious studies. Get ready to sweat if your son or daughter chooses one of these heady courses of study.

Why? It turns out recent grads in philosophy and religious studies face a 10.8 percent unemployment rate, says the Georgetown report.

And unless you plan on continuing on to grad school and working as a philosophy professor, researchers say that the problem with philosophy is that the principles behind it – questioning existence, thinking about knowledge – are perceived as “useless” in the workforce.

Major #4: Anthropology and Archaeology

Indiana Jones may have looked cool on the big screen, but going into the fields of anthropology or archaeology won’t be a blockbuster hit for your kid in the job department. The reality, according to the Georgetown report, is that recent anthropology and archaeology graduates report a 10.5 percent unemployment rate.

Why is this number so high? It all goes back to the same problem of having skills that are perceived as valuable in the working world – assuming you’re not trying to get a job as an anthropologist or archaeologist. While you’ll likely pick up skills during your course of study that could be applied to other jobs outside of these majors, good luck getting that across in a job application or interview when you say you studied anthropology.

Major #5: Film, Video, and Photographic Arts

Do you have a budding Spielberg or Ansel Adams on your hands? While filmmaking and photography can be great artistic outlets, they might not be the best choices for your son or daughter’s college major.

Recent graduates with these types of degrees experience about a 12.9 percent unemployment rate, says the Georgetown report. The possibility is the fact that while film and photography have the skill of story creation at their core, they might not be the most lucrative fields for monetizing those storytelling skills.

And if you’re not using those storytelling skills, you need to make money somehow. But it can be difficult to convince employers that those skills translate into a practical approach to an office job or otherwise because your field of study is often pigeonholed as artistic and outside the “real” world.


To see what may be a good idea, HERE is more!