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College majors that earn the least money

  • College majors that earn the least money
    1/ wohnai // Flickr

    College majors that earn the least money

    While undergraduate college students are encouraged to study what they love as opposed to chasing the disciplines most conducive to earning a high salary, most students take into account their potential future earnings—at least to an extent—when choosing a major. Of course it’s also true that one’s selected university coursework does not necessarily have to define their career choices, but there’s no denying that selecting a major is a decision that will impact one’s financial future in some ways. That being said, there are a plethora of good-natured people who are more interested in the smiles of those around them than the number of digits on their paycheck, and such is demonstrated in the regularity with which lower-earning college grads report happiness by way of their work, improving the world in a meaningful way.

    In taking a closer a look at the areas of study in which graduates earn less money, Stacker referenced PayScale research to compile a list of the 50 college majors that lead to the lowest mid-career salaries. PayScale defines a major’s mid-career salary as the median pay amongst graduates after 10 years working in their field. Read on to discover some college majors that students may want avoid if they’re looking to make a lot of money.

    RELATED: Click here to find out which college majors go on to earn the most money

  • #50. Community Health Education
    2/ Verda L. Parker // Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany

    #50. Community Health Education

    Early career pay: $37,600
    Mid-career pay: $57,600
    Percent of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: 82%

  • #49. Supervision & Management
    3/ Consumer Financial Protection Bureau // Flickr

    #49. Supervision & Management

    Early career pay: $38,200
    Mid-career pay: $57,200
    Percent of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: 57%

  • #48. Instrumental Music Teacher Education
    4/ F. Rodricks // Wikimedia Commons

    #48. Instrumental Music Teacher Education

    Early career pay: $40,200
    Mid-career pay: $56,600
    Percent of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: 72%

  • #47. Human Development
    5/ Staff Sgt. Taylor L. Marr // U.S. Army

    #47. Human Development

    Early career pay: $37,100
    Mid-career pay: $56,600
    Percent of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: 67%

  • #46. Photography
    6/ Rocky T // Flickr

    #46. Photography

    Early career pay: $38,600
    Mid-career pay: $56,500
    Percent of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: 34%

  • #45. Music Teacher Education
    7/ U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District // Flickr

    #45. Music Teacher Education

    Early career pay: $37,000
    Mid-career pay: $56,500
    Percent of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: 64%

  • #44. Painting
    8/ George // Wikimedia Commons

    #44. Painting

    Early career pay: $36,100
    Mid-career pay: $56,400
    Percent of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: 40%

  • #43. Paralegal Studies
    9/ Janet Lindenmuth // Wikimedia Commons

    #43. Paralegal Studies

    Early career pay: $35,100
    Mid-career pay: $56,400
    Percent of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: 46%

  • #42. Mortuary Science
    10/ Jeremy Thompson // Wikimedia Commons

    #42. Mortuary Science

    Early career pay: $42,100
    Mid-career pay: $56,300
    Percent of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: N/A

  • #41. Women's Studies
    11/ Jim Varhegyi // U.S. Air Force

    #41. Women's Studies

    Early career pay: $40,300
    Mid-career pay: $55,600
    Percent of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: 60%

  • #40. Rehabilitation Services
    12/ Robert T. Shields // U.S. Army

    #40. Rehabilitation Services

    Early career pay: $30,200
    Mid-career pay: $55,500
    Percent of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: N/A

  • #39. Recreation Administration
    13/ Alaska National Park Service

    #39. Recreation Administration

    Early career pay: $43,300
    Mid-career pay: $55,300
    Percent of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: 75%

  • #38. Recreation & Leisure Studies
    14/ U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region // Flickr

    #38. Recreation & Leisure Studies

    Early career pay: $35,800
    Mid-career pay: $55,000
    Percent of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: 68%

  • #37. Community Health
    15/ Tom Watanabe // U.S. Navy

    #37. Community Health

    Early career pay: $38,900
    Mid-career pay: $54,900
    Percent of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: 68%

  • #36. Dance
    16/ Ekabhishek // Wikimedia Commons

    #36. Dance

    Early career pay: $37,900
    Mid-career pay: $54,800
    Percent of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: 61%

  • #35. Health Services Administration
    17/ Maria Pinel // U.S. Army

    #35. Health Services Administration

    Early career pay: $36,700
    Mid-career pay: $54,500
    Percent of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: 64%

  • #34. Exercise Science
    18/ Floris Oosterveld // Flickr

    #34. Exercise Science

    Early career pay: $36,600
    Mid-career pay: $54,500
    Percent of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: 70%

  • #33. Human Development & Family Studies
    19/ Marko KZM // Wikimedia Commons

    #33. Human Development & Family Studies

    Early career pay: $35,000
    Mid-career pay: $54,200
    Percent of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: 65%

  • #32. African American & African Studies
    20/ ParentingPatch // Wikimedia Commons

    #32. African American & African Studies

    Early career pay: $41,900
    Mid-career pay: $54,100
    Percent of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: 45%

  • #31. Athletic Training
    21/ Port of San Diego // Flickr

    #31. Athletic Training

    Early career pay: $36,800
    Mid-career pay: $54,100
    Percent of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: 79%

  • #30. Music Therapy
    22/ Brian Turner // Flickr

    #30. Music Therapy

    Early career pay: $36,200
    Mid-career pay: $53,700
    Percent of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: 92%

  • #29. Theology
    23/ Daderot // Wikimedia Commons

    #29. Theology

    Early career pay: $37,400
    Mid-career pay: $53,300
    Percent of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: 71%

  • #28. Sculpture
    24/ Tulane Public Relations // Wikimedia Commons

    #28. Sculpture

    Early career pay: $35,500
    Mid-career pay: $53,200
    Percent of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: 39%

  • #27. Parks & Recreation Management
    25/ Grand Canyon National Park // Flickr

    #27. Parks & Recreation Management

    Early career pay: $38,400
    Mid-career pay: $53,000
    Percent of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: 59%

  • #26. Horticulture
    26/ Mathieu Plourde // Wikimedia Commons

    #26. Horticulture

    Early career pay: $39,100
    Mid-career pay: $52,400
    Percent of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: 64%

  • #25. Nonprofit Management
    27/ University of Michigan's Ford School // Flickr

    #25. Nonprofit Management

    Early career pay: $35,700
    Mid-career pay: $52,400
    Percent of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: 75%

  • #24. Vocal Performance
    28/ Tanglewd // Wikimedia Commons

    #24. Vocal Performance

    Early career pay: $38,500
    Mid-career pay: $52,300
    Percent of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: 58%

  • #23. Pastoral Ministry
    29/ Sulfur // Wikimedia Commons

    #23. Pastoral Ministry

    Early career pay: $34,500
    Mid-career pay: $52,300
    Percent of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: 94%

  • #22. Gerontology
    30/ Airman 1st Class Zachary Wolf // U.S. Air Force

    #22. Gerontology

    Early career pay: $36,700
    Mid-career pay: $51,900
    Percent of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: 83%

  • #21. Communication Sciences & Disorders
    31/ Senior Airman Brian Ferguson // U.S. Air Force

    #21. Communication Sciences & Disorders

    Early career pay: $38,600
    Mid-career pay: $51,800
    Percent of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: 81%

  • #20. Special Education
    32/ John S. Swanson // U.S. Air Force

    #20. Special Education

    Early career pay: $35,900
    Mid-career pay: $51,800
    Percent of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: 75%

  • #19. Youth Ministry
    33/ Catholic Diocese of Saginaw // Flickr

    #19. Youth Ministry

    Early career pay: $33,800
    Mid-career pay: $51,300
    Percent of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: 79%

  • #18. Therapeutic Recreation
    34/ U.S. Air Force photo Lea Johnson

    #18. Therapeutic Recreation

    Early career pay: $35,200
    Mid-career pay: $50,700
    Percent of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: 84%

  • #17. Bible Studies & Theology
    35/ Robert de Jong // Wikimedia Commons

    #17. Bible Studies & Theology

    Early career pay: $33,500
    Mid-career pay: $50,500
    Percent of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: 71%

  • #16. Counseling Psychology
    36/ U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Kiona Mckissack // Wikimedia Commons

    #16. Counseling Psychology

    Early career pay: $36,200
    Mid-career pay: $50,100
    Percent of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: 51%

  • #15. Home Economics
    37/ Douglas P. Perkins // Wikimedia Commons

    #15. Home Economics

    Early career pay: $38,800
    Mid-career pay: $49,600
    Percent of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: 64%

  • #14. Elementary Education
    38/ US Department of Education // Flickr

    #14. Elementary Education

    Early career pay: $36,000
    Mid-career pay: $49,300
    Percent of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: 68%

  • #13. Christian Education
    39/ George Bannister // Flickr

    #13. Christian Education

    Early career pay: $33,500
    Mid-career pay: $48,500
    Percent of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: N/A

  • #12. Christian Ministry
    40/ GovernmentZA // Flickr

    #12. Christian Ministry

    Early career pay: $33,400
    Mid-career pay: $48,400
    Percent of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: 88%

  • #11. Counseling
    41/ Kendl123 // Wikimedia Commons

    #11. Counseling

    Early career pay: $36,700
    Mid-career pay: $48,300
    Percent of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: 90%

  • #10. Social Work
    42/ University of Michigan's Ford School // Flickr

    #10. Social Work

    Early career pay: $34,000
    Mid-career pay: $48,300
    Percent of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: 76%

  • #9. Biblical Studies
    43/ PROPaul O'Rear // Flickr

    #9. Biblical Studies

    Early career pay: $35,400
    Mid-career pay: $47,800
    Percent of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: 78%

  • #8. Photojournalism
    44/ U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication 1st Class Carmichael Yepez // Wikimedia Commons

    #8. Photojournalism

    Early career pay: $37,100
    Mid-career pay: $47,200
    Percent of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: 53%

  • #7. Human Services
    45/ Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kerryl Cacho // U.S. Navy

    #7. Human Services

    Early career pay: $34,700
    Mid-career pay: $46,500
    Percent of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: 77%

  • #6. Family Studies
    46/ Simon Fraser University - University Communications // Flickr

    #6. Family Studies

    Early career pay: $35,400
    Mid-career pay: $44,500
    Percent of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: 69%

  • #5. Child Development
    47/ Tech. Sgt. Shane A. Cuomo // U.S. Air Force

    #5. Child Development

    Early career pay: $32,300
    Mid-career pay: $44,000
    Percent of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: 77%

  • #4. Early Childhood & Elementary Education
    48/ woodleywonderworks // Wikimedia Commons

    #4. Early Childhood & Elementary Education

    Early career pay: $35,000
    Mid-career pay: $43,600
    Percent of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: 76%

  • #3. Veterinary Technology
    49/ Austin Community College // Flickr

    #3. Veterinary Technology

    Early career pay: $31,800
    Mid-career pay: $43,100
    Percent of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: 78%

  • #2. Child & Family Studies
    50/ Airman 1st Class Brittney Prescott // U.S. Air Force

    #2. Child & Family Studies

    Early career pay: $32,000
    Mid-career pay: $42,100
    Percent of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: 70%

  • #1. Early Childhood Education
    51/ Christine Cabalo // Wikimedia Commons

    #1. Early Childhood Education

    Early career pay: $32,100
    Mid-career pay: $40,400
    Percent of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: 75%

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