Whether the amount you pay for college ultimately ends up being worth it in the long run depends heavily on what you choose to study. In fact, according to a 2015 report from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, the difference in earnings between the highest and lowest paying majors is a whopping $3.4 million! In this view, we felt that you should know what kind of future you can expect from a major before you invest thousands of dollars to get it. Keep in mind that if your intended major is on our list, don’t fret, as we are not saying that you should not follow your dreams. However, what we are saying is that you do so with your eyes wide open and understanding the risks associated with going down an academic path that may not be as lucrative as others.
Religious studies – while a spiritual-based occupation is certainly replete with rewards, don’t expect that they will come in a monetary form. While the median starting salary for all majors is about $43,000, the average starting salary for a religious studies major is about $38,000. Moreover, there are limited job options for those who major in religious studies, and as such, the competition can be fierce among the jobs that are available. As an alternative, consider majoring in philosophy, which still allows you to pursue religious courses but exposes you to classes that offer skills such as critical thinking and analysis required in a variety of different careers.
Exercise science – while exercise is undeniably good for your health, majoring in this field of study however, may not be good for your wallet. Not only is the average starting salary extremely low (~$36,000), employers typically do not seek out potential employees who major in this field of study. As an alternative, we recommend that you consider a major in physical therapy, occupational therapy or nutrition, which offer broader and higher paying job possibilities post-graduation.