8 Worst College Degrees: Let Someone Else Write the Next Great American Novel

 

If Hemingway was a college student today would he choose to be a writer?
If Hemingway was a college student today would he choose to be a writer?

While colleges are pretty good at showing you the ivy, they’re less capable when it comes to showing you the green. Specifically, colleges should sound the alarm and try to steer you in a different career direction if you indicate you want to pursue a certain major because, frankly speaking, certain college degrees don’t command a lot of financial respect in the marketplace.

Hillcrest

Sure, you’ll earn about $1 million more than a high school graduate if you graduate college, but as far as measuring up financially with your college peers, prepare to stand at the back of the line. With little income to keep you afloat, you may never pay off those student loans.

The good folks at Salary.com assembled this list for you, calculating the returns on investments (ROIs) on some of today’s least rewarding jobs.

8. Social Worker

Median Salary: $47,121
30-Year Earnings: $2,779,195
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 73%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 21%

CORRECTIONS OFFICER
Median Salary: $39,630
30-Year Earnings: $2,337,376
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 61%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 18%

CHEMICAL DEPENDENCY COUNSELOR
Median Salary: $47,210
30-Year Earnings: $2,784,444
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 73%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 21%

7. Fine Arts

MUSEUM RESEARCH WORKER
Median Salary: $48,401
30-Year Earnings: $2,854,689
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 75%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 22%

GRAPHIC DESIGNER
Median Salary: $47,753
30-Year Earnings: $2,816,470
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 74%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 22%

PAINTER/ILLUSTRATOR
Median Salary: $37,819
30-Year Earnings: $2,230,563
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 58%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 17%

6. Education

DAYCARE CENTER TEACHER
Median Salary: $27,910
30-Year Earnings: $1,646,131
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 43%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 13%

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEACHER
Median Salary: $52,241
30-Year Earnings: $3,081,172
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 82%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 24%

HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER
Median Salary: $54,473
30-Year Earnings: $3,212,815
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 85%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 25%

5. Religious Studies/Theology

RELIGIOUS EDUCATOR
Median Salary: $47,957
30-Year Earnings: $2,828,502
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 75%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 22%

CHAPLAIN — HEALTHCARE
Median Salary: $51,127
30-Year Earnings: $3,015,174
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 80%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 24%

ASSOCIATE PASTOR
Median Salary: $61,811
30-Year Earnings: $3,645,610
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 96%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 29%

4. Hospitality/Tourism

MEETING/EVENT PLANNER
Median Salary: $55,476
30-Year Earnings: $3,271,972
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 87%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 26%

HOTEL RESIDENT MANAGER
Median Salary: $65,076
30-Year Earnings: $3,838,180
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 102%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 30%

CATERING MANAGER
Median Salary: $42,533
30-Year Earnings: $2,508,595
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 66%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 20%

3. Nutrition

DIETICIAN
Median Salary: $53,679
30-Year Earnings: $3,165,985
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 84%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 25%

FOOD SERVICES MANAGER
Median Salary: $56,711
30-Year Earnings: $3,344,813
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 89%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 27%

FOOD SCIENTIST
Median Salary: $64,019
30-Year Earnings: $3,775,838
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 100%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 30%

2. Psychology

HUMAN SERVICES WORKER
Median Salary: $22,738
30-Year Earnings: $1,341,086
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 35%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 10%

CAREER COUNSELOR – HIGHER EDUCATION
Median Salary: $43,384
30-Year Earnings: $2,558,787
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 68%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 20%

BEREAVEMENT COORDINATOR
Median Salary: $52,200
30-Year Earnings: $3,078,754
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 81%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 24%

1. Communications

COPYWRITER
Median Salary: $52,549
30-Year Earnings: $3,099,338
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 82%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 24%

NEWS REPORTER
Median Salary: $37,393
30-Year Earnings: $2,205,438
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 58%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 17%

MARKETING COORDINATOR
Median Salary: $50,455
30-Year Earnings: $2,975,834
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 79%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 23%

Comment: Great, of all the professions in all the world, I had to pick journalism, No. 1 on the no-pay list. Why, just on Friday, AOL Patch announced it was laying off half its staff. But at least, I take comfort from the good company I’ll be keeping: social workers, starving artists, school teachers, chaplains and bereavement coordinators are good people with strong characters. We know how to do more with less.