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Majors with the highest and lowest underemployment

  • Majors with the highest and lowest underemployment
    1/ Tulane Public Relations // Wikicommons

    Majors with the highest and lowest underemployment

    Anybody who went to college a few decades ago and is now attempting to grant their own children a similar experience has experienced firsthand the degree to which a respectable higher education has become outrageously expensive—at least relative to what it cost in the past. Many parents and students alike justify these costs by performing a long-term cost-benefit analysis, which suggests that eventually, the cost of having attended college will be canceled out by a competitive salary. A recent study showed the pay gap between college graduates and everybody else is at an all-time high, but there are still many degree-holding individuals who feel as though the work they do is either unfulfilling, does not properly utilize the skills at their disposal, or could even be completed without a degree altogether.

    In determining which majors most often lead people to underwhelming careers, Stacker analyzed a recent study conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which looked at employment statuses of graduates with 73 unique college majors. Stacker ranked every listed major in the study according to the rate of underemployment, which the New York Fed defines as “working in jobs that typically do not require a college degree.” Read on to see how common majors rank in terms of career success.

    RELATED: College majors that go on to earn the most money

     

  • #73. Criminal Justice
    2/ Public Domain

    #73. Criminal Justice

    Underemployment rate: 75.5%

    Unemployment rate: 4.6% (#48 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $36,000

    Mid-career median wage: $60,000

    Share with graduate degree: 22.8%

  • #72. Public Policy and Law
    3/ U.S. Air Force Photo

    #72. Public Policy and Law

    Underemployment rate: 66.2%

    Unemployment rate: 3.9% (#38 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $38,000

    Mid-career median wage: $59,000

    Share with graduate degree: 45.4%

  • #71. Performing Arts
    4/ Loadmaster (David R. Tribble) // Wikicommons

    #71. Performing Arts

    Underemployment rate: 65.5%

    Unemployment rate: 4.2% (#42 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $30,000

    Mid-career median wage: $55,000

    Share with graduate degree: 38.3%

  • #70. Leisure and Hospitality
    5/ RichardToHKG // Wikicommons

    #70. Leisure and Hospitality

    Underemployment rate: 63.6%

    Unemployment rate: 4.2% (#41 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $32,000

    Mid-career median wage: $55,000

    Share with graduate degree: 29.1%

  • #69. Miscellaneous Technologies
    6/ Pixnio

    #69. Miscellaneous Technologies

    Underemployment rate: 62.2%

    Unemployment rate: 3.3% (#21 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $35,000

    Mid-career median wage: $74,000

    Share with graduate degree: 17%

  • #68. Anthropology
    7/ Public Domain

    #68. Anthropology

    Underemployment rate: 60.6%

    Unemployment rate: 5.7% (#67 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $30,000

    Mid-career median wage: $60,000

    Share with graduate degree: 48%

  • #67. Business Management
    8/ K2 Space // Flickr

    #67. Business Management

    Underemployment rate: 59.6%

    Unemployment rate: 4.2% (#40 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $40,000

    Mid-career median wage: $65,000

    Share with graduate degree: 23%

  • #66. Fine Arts
    9/ Pixabay

    #66. Fine Arts

    Underemployment rate: 58.5%

    Unemployment rate: 6.4% (#72 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $32,000

    Mid-career median wage: $56,000

    Share with graduate degree: 22.7%

  • #65. Liberal Arts
    10/ Hmclibrary // Wikicommons

    #65. Liberal Arts

    Underemployment rate: 57%

    Unemployment rate: 6.3% (#70 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $35,000

    Mid-career median wage: $57,000

    Share with graduate degree: 27.9%

  • #64. Mass Media
    11/ PxHere

    #64. Mass Media

    Underemployment rate: 56.1%

    Unemployment rate: 7.4% (#73 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $35,000

    Mid-career median wage: $60,000

    Share with graduate degree: 19.3%

  • #63. General Business
    12/ Max Pixel

    #63. General Business

    Underemployment rate: 56%

    Unemployment rate: 3.5% (#28 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $43,800

    Mid-career median wage: $70,000

    Share with graduate degree: 24%

  • #62. Animal and Plant Sciences
    13/ Lufa Farms // Flickr

    #62. Animal and Plant Sciences

    Underemployment rate: 55.7%

    Unemployment rate: 3.8% (#35 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $35,000

    Mid-career median wage: $60,000

    Share with graduate degree: 33.2%

  • #61. Art History
    14/ Public Domain

    #61. Art History

    Underemployment rate: 55.4%

    Unemployment rate: 3.2% (#20 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $35,000

    Mid-career median wage: $62,000

    Share with graduate degree: 42.1%

  • #60. Medical Technicians
    15/ Public Domain

    #60. Medical Technicians

    Underemployment rate: 54.8%

    Unemployment rate: 0.9% (#1 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $43,000

    Mid-career median wage: $60,000

    Share with graduate degree: 22.5%

  • #59. Communications
    16/ CountdownCrispy // Wikicommons

    #59. Communications

    Underemployment rate: 54.8%

    Unemployment rate: 3.9% (#37 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $38,000

    Mid-career median wage: $67,000

    Share with graduate degree: 23.4%

  • #58. Agriculture
    17/ Public Domain

    #58. Agriculture

    Underemployment rate: 54.7%

    Unemployment rate: 2.5% (#11 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $40,000

    Mid-career median wage: $60,000

    Share with graduate degree: 21%

  • #57. Marketing
    18/ amtec_photos // Flickr

    #57. Marketing

    Underemployment rate: 53.3%

    Unemployment rate: 3% (#18 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $42,000

    Mid-career median wage: $75,000

    Share with graduate degree: 17.2%

  • #56. Sociology
    19/ Pixabay

    #56. Sociology

    Underemployment rate: 52.1%

    Unemployment rate: 4.8% (#52 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $35,000

    Mid-career median wage: $55,000

    Share with graduate degree: 36.2%

  • #55. History
    20/ Max Pixel

    #55. History

    Underemployment rate: 51.2%

    Unemployment rate: 5.5% (#64 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $36,000

    Mid-career median wage: $65,000

    Share with graduate degree: 49.2%

  • #54. Interdisciplinary Studies
    21/ Will Hart // Flickr

    #54. Interdisciplinary Studies

    Underemployment rate: 51%

    Unemployment rate: 5.1% (#58 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $36,000

    Mid-career median wage: $60,000

    Share with graduate degree: 36.7%

  • #53. Political Science
    22/ Public Domain

    #53. Political Science

    Underemployment rate: 50.6%

    Unemployment rate: 5% (#57 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $40,000

    Mid-career median wage: $75,000

    Share with graduate degree: 51.5%

  • #52. Ethnic Studies
    23/ US Department of State // flickr

    #52. Ethnic Studies

    Underemployment rate: 50.5%

    Unemployment rate: 4.8% (#51 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $37,000

    Mid-career median wage: $57,000

    Share with graduate degree: 50.6%

  • #51. Environmental Studies
    24/ National Park Service

    #51. Environmental Studies

    Underemployment rate: 50%

    Unemployment rate: 4.6% (#47 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $35,000

    Mid-career median wage: $62,000

    Share with graduate degree: 31.5%

  • #50. International Affairs
    25/ Obama White House Archives

    #50. International Affairs

    Underemployment rate: 49.9%

    Unemployment rate: 4.7% (#50 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $42,000

    Mid-career median wage: $76,000

    Share with graduate degree: 42.5%

  • #49. English Language
    26/ Christine June // Wikicommons

    #49. English Language

    Underemployment rate: 49.8%

    Unemployment rate: 6.4% (#71 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $35,000

    Mid-career median wage: $60,000

    Share with graduate degree: 45.7%

  • #48. Psychology
    27/ Pixabay

    #48. Psychology

    Underemployment rate: 49.7%

    Unemployment rate: 4.9% (#54 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $33,500

    Mid-career median wage: $55,000

    Share with graduate degree: 49.9%

  • #47. Philosophy
    28/ The Death of Socrates—Public Domain

    #47. Philosophy

    Underemployment rate: 49.5%

    Unemployment rate: 6.2% (#69 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $35,000

    Mid-career median wage: $60,000

    Share with graduate degree: 56.1%

  • #46. Foreign Language
    29/ Max Pixel

    #46. Foreign Language

    Underemployment rate: 49.4%

    Unemployment rate: 5.2% (#59 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $32,500

    Mid-career median wage: $60,000

    Share with graduate degree: 48.6%

  • #45. Miscellaneous Biological Sciences
    30/ NazWeb // Wikicommons

    #45. Miscellaneous Biological Sciences

    Underemployment rate: 49.2%

    Unemployment rate: 4.9% (#53 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $33,000

    Mid-career median wage: $65,000

    Share with graduate degree: 59.9%

  • #44. General Social Sciences
    31/ Hajotthu // Wikicommons

    #44. General Social Sciences

    Underemployment rate: 49%

    Unemployment rate: 5.6% (#66 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $35,000

    Mid-career median wage: $60,000

    Share with graduate degree: 38.4%

  • #43. Geography
    32/ LSE Library

    #43. Geography

    Underemployment rate: 48.8%

    Unemployment rate: 4.3% (#43 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $40,000

    Mid-career median wage: $65,000

    Share with graduate degree: 33.2%

  • #42. Theology and Religion
    33/ Joe Ravi // Wikicommons

    #42. Theology and Religion

    Underemployment rate: 48.5%

    Unemployment rate: 2.7% (#14 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $28,000

    Mid-career median wage: $49,000

    Share with graduate degree: 44%

  • #41. Nutrition Sciences
    34/ Max Pixel

    #41. Nutrition Sciences

    Underemployment rate: 48.1%

    Unemployment rate: 5.4% (#62 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $35,000

    Mid-career median wage: $60,000

    Share with graduate degree: 45.8%

  • #40. Earth Sciences
    35/ NASA

    #40. Earth Sciences

    Underemployment rate: 47.4%

    Unemployment rate: 5.8% (#68 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $40,000

    Mid-career median wage: $62,000

    Share with graduate degree: 46.2%

  • #39. Health Services
    36/ Pixabay

    #39. Health Services

    Underemployment rate: 46.8%

    Unemployment rate: 3.6% (#30 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $35,000

    Mid-career median wage: $55,000

    Share with graduate degree: 51.6%

  • #38. Advertising and Public Relations
    37/ Hpeterswald // Wikicommons

    #38. Advertising and Public Relations

    Underemployment rate: 45.7%

    Unemployment rate: 3.4% (#24 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $40,000

    Mid-career median wage: $70,000

    Share with graduate degree: 18%

  • #37. Family and Consumer Sciences
    38/ Pixabay

    #37. Family and Consumer Sciences

    Underemployment rate: 44.6%

    Unemployment rate: 3.5% (#27 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $32,000

    Mid-career median wage: $48,000

    Share with graduate degree: 32.4%

  • #36. Biology
    39/ NIH-NCATS

    #36. Biology

    Underemployment rate: 44.2%

    Unemployment rate: 5% (#56 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $33,000

    Mid-career median wage: $63,000

    Share with graduate degree: 63.5%

  • #35. Information Systems and Management
    40/ Public Domain

    #35. Information Systems and Management

    Underemployment rate: 41.8%

    Unemployment rate: 5.3% (#61 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $50,000

    Mid-career median wage: $75,000

    Share with graduate degree: 24.6%

  • #34. Journalism
    41/ Andre Engels // Wikicommons

    #34. Journalism

    Underemployment rate: 41.6%

    Unemployment rate: 4.6% (#46 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $37,000

    Mid-career median wage: $70,000

    Share with graduate degree: 23.9%

  • #33. Engineering Technologies
    42/ NASA

    #33. Engineering Technologies

    Underemployment rate: 39.1%

    Unemployment rate: 5.5% (#63 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $50,000

    Mid-career median wage: $78,000

    Share with graduate degree: 23%

  • #32. Finance
    43/ Pixabay

    #32. Finance

    Underemployment rate: 38.4%

    Unemployment rate: 3.7% (#33 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $52,000

    Mid-career median wage: $85,000

    Share with graduate degree: 30.9%

  • #31. Business Analytics
    44/ PxHere

    #31. Business Analytics

    Underemployment rate: 38.4%

    Unemployment rate: 3.2% (#19 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $55,000

    Mid-career median wage: $85,000

    Share with graduate degree: 24%

  • #30. Commercial Art and Graphic Design
    45/ Public Domain

    #30. Commercial Art and Graphic Design

    Underemployment rate: 38.3%

    Unemployment rate: 5% (#55 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $40,000

    Mid-career median wage: $59,000

    Share with graduate degree: 10.7%

  • #29. Economics
    46/ StFX // Wikicommons

    #29. Economics

    Underemployment rate: 37.4%

    Unemployment rate: 4.5% (#45 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $53,000

    Mid-career median wage: $85,000

    Share with graduate degree: 41.4%

  • #28. Miscellaneous Physical Sciences
    47/ StFX // Wikicommons

    #28. Miscellaneous Physical Sciences

    Underemployment rate: 35.1%

    Unemployment rate: 3.9% (#36 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $50,000

    Mid-career median wage: $70,000

    Share with graduate degree: 55.4%

  • #27. Biochemistry
    48/ UC Davis College of Engineering // Flickr

    #27. Biochemistry

    Underemployment rate: 34.4%

    Unemployment rate: 3.7% (#32 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $40,000

    Mid-career median wage: $75,000

    Share with graduate degree: 71%

  • #26. Chemistry
    49/ Max Pixel

    #26. Chemistry

    Underemployment rate: 34.3%

    Unemployment rate: 3.6% (#29 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $40,000

    Mid-career median wage: $70,000

    Share with graduate degree: 65.7%

  • #25. Treatment Therapy
    50/ Public Domain

    #25. Treatment Therapy

    Underemployment rate: 34.2%

    Unemployment rate: 2.7% (#13 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $34,500

    Mid-career median wage: $68,000

    Share with graduate degree: 44.1%

  • #24. Physics
    51/ IPASadelaide // Flickr

    #24. Physics

    Underemployment rate: 33.1%

    Unemployment rate: 3.5% (#26 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $46,000

    Mid-career median wage: $90,000

    Share with graduate degree: 70.6%

  • #23. Mathematics
    52/ U.S. Coast Guard

    #23. Mathematics

    Underemployment rate: 32%

    Unemployment rate: 5.6% (#65 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $48,000

    Mid-career median wage: $80,000

    Share with graduate degree: 52.5%

  • #22. Construction Services
    53/ Magnus Bäck // Wikicommons

    #22. Construction Services

    Underemployment rate: 31.5%

    Unemployment rate: 4.7% (#49 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $54,000

    Mid-career median wage: $80,000

    Share with graduate degree: 9.8%

  • #21. Social Services
    54/ Army Medicine // Flickr

    #21. Social Services

    Underemployment rate: 30.4%

    Unemployment rate: 3.4% (#23 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $30,000

    Mid-career median wage: $42,000

    Share with graduate degree: 46.1%

  • #20. Architecture
    55/ Pixabay

    #20. Architecture

    Underemployment rate: 29%

    Unemployment rate: 2.8% (#17 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $42,000

    Mid-career median wage: $73,000

    Share with graduate degree: 38.2%

  • #19. Pharmacy
    56/ U.S. Air Force

    #19. Pharmacy

    Underemployment rate: 27%

    Unemployment rate: 5.3% (#60 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $45,000

    Mid-career median wage: $115,000

    Share with graduate degree: 57.5%

  • #18. Computer Science
    57/ Marko Puusaar // Wikicommons

    #18. Computer Science

    Underemployment rate: 26%

    Unemployment rate: 4.4% (#44 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $60,000

    Mid-career median wage: $90,000

    Share with graduate degree: 31.6%

  • #17. Accounting
    58/ Mweufika // Wikicommons

    #17. Accounting

    Underemployment rate: 25.2%

    Unemployment rate: 2.8% (#16 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $48,000

    Mid-career median wage: $72,000

    Share with graduate degree: 28.2%

  • #16. General Engineering
    59/ Public Domain

    #16. General Engineering

    Underemployment rate: 24.7%

    Unemployment rate: 2.4% (#9 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $60,000

    Mid-career median wage: $89,000

    Share with graduate degree: 36.7%

  • #15. Secondary Education
    60/ Ray Tomblin // Flickr

    #15. Secondary Education

    Underemployment rate: 24.7%

    Unemployment rate: 2.7% (#12 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $35,000

    Mid-career median wage: $49,900

    Share with graduate degree: 47.5%

  • #14. Aerospace Engineering
    61/ NASA

    #14. Aerospace Engineering

    Underemployment rate: 24.4%

    Unemployment rate: 3.4% (#22 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $65,000

    Mid-career median wage: $100,000

    Share with graduate degree: 51.6%

  • #13. Miscellaneous Engineering
    62/ General Motors // Wikicommons

    #13. Miscellaneous Engineering

    Underemployment rate: 24.3%

    Unemployment rate: 3.7% (#31 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $60,000

    Mid-career median wage: $90,000

    Share with graduate degree: 44.2%

  • #12. Mechanical Engineering
    63/ NASA

    #12. Mechanical Engineering

    Underemployment rate: 22.1%

    Unemployment rate: 3.5% (#25 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $62,000

    Mid-career median wage: $98,000

    Share with graduate degree: 40.3%

  • #11. Electrical Engineering
    64/ U.S. Air Force

    #11. Electrical Engineering

    Underemployment rate: 21.6%

    Unemployment rate: 4% (#39 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $64,000

    Mid-career median wage: $100,000

    Share with graduate degree: 44%

  • #10. General Education
    65/ Pixabay

    #10. General Education

    Underemployment rate: 21.4%

    Unemployment rate: 2.2% (#5 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $36,000

    Mid-career median wage: $45,000

    Share with graduate degree: 46.7%

  • #9. Computer Engineering
    66/ U.S. Air Force

    #9. Computer Engineering

    Underemployment rate: 20.3%

    Unemployment rate: 2.8% (#15 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $67,000

    Mid-career median wage: $105,000

    Share with graduate degree: 37.9%

  • #8. Chemical Engineering
    67/ NTNU, Faculty of Natural Sciences // Flickr

    #8. Chemical Engineering

    Underemployment rate: 19.1%

    Unemployment rate: 3.8% (#34 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $70,000

    Mid-career median wage: $103,000

    Share with graduate degree: 49.8%

  • #7. Civil Engineering
    68/ Steven Lek // Wikicommons

    #7. Civil Engineering

    Underemployment rate: 18.9%

    Unemployment rate: 2.3% (#8 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $56,000

    Mid-career median wage: $90,000

    Share with graduate degree: 37.1%

  • #6. Special Education
    69/ Public Domain

    #6. Special Education

    Underemployment rate: 17.7%

    Unemployment rate: 1.3% (#2 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $35,000

    Mid-career median wage: $45,000

    Share with graduate degree: 59.3%

  • #5. Industrial Engineering
    70/ Max Pixel

    #5. Industrial Engineering

    Underemployment rate: 17.4%

    Unemployment rate: 1.7% (#3 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $64,000

    Mid-career median wage: $88,000

    Share with graduate degree: 40.9%

  • #4. Elementary Education
    71/ USFWS/Southeast // Flickr

    #4. Elementary Education

    Underemployment rate: 16.3%

    Unemployment rate: 2% (#4 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $35,000

    Mid-career median wage: $42,900

    Share with graduate degree: 46.2%

  • #3. Early Childhood Education
    72/ Globe toters // Wikicommons

    #3. Early Childhood Education

    Underemployment rate: 16.1%

    Unemployment rate: 2.3% (#7 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $31,000

    Mid-career median wage: $40,000

    Share with graduate degree: 37.2%

  • #2. Miscellaneous Education
    73/ velkr0 // Flickr

    #2. Miscellaneous Education

    Underemployment rate: 14.9%

    Unemployment rate: 2.5% (#10 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $36,000

    Mid-career median wage: $48,000

    Share with graduate degree: 54.1%

  • #1. Nursing
    74/ Suzannekweiss // Wikicommons

    #1. Nursing

    Underemployment rate: 11.1%

    Unemployment rate: 2.3% (#6 lowest)

    Early career median wage: $50,000

    Mid-career median wage: $68,000

    Share with graduate degree: 26.1%

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