College Degrees With the Worst Unemployment

A philosophy degree can teach you how to rationalize and construct a strong, effective argument, but you’ll probably have a harder time trying to find a job.

Following up on an article I had over the weekend about why so many people have a Bachelor’s degree, but not a career in their field, I’ve found a list of degrees with the highest rates of unemployment. As I pointed out in my previous article:

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the top five occupations by number of new jobs to be created by the year 2018 and require a Bachelors degree are:

  1. Registered nurses – 581,500 new jobs
  2. Accountants and auditors – 279,400 new jobs
  3. Elementary school teachers, except special ed – 244,200 new jobs
  4. Management Analysts – 178,300 new jobs
  5. Computer software engineers, applications – 175,100 new jobs

The Department of Education began following a group of college students six years ago to get an idea of the difficulties college students face transitioning to a career. They found the following degrees had the highest rates of unemployment:

  1. Humanities – 11.9% unemployment
  2. Social Sciences – 10.9% unemployment
  3. Business – 8.5% unemployment

If you were to add in those that were underemployed(those working only a part time job) the rates were:

  1. Humanities – 30.6% unemployment
  2. Social Sciences – 29.9% unemployment
  3. Business – 16.3% unemployment

The lowest rates of unemployment were:

  1. Education – 4.8% unemployment
  2. Health care fields – 6.1% unemployment
  3. Computer and information sciences – 6.6% unemployment

You notice a stark contrast between business and the top two high unemployment degrees of humanities and social sciences. Social sciences is the second most common degree awarded and humanities the 11th. I’d also argue that business administration degrees are the area of business degrees that is driving the unemployment rate, while accounting and finance degrees likely have much lower rates.

Your best bet to land a career related to your field of study is to go into one of the areas with the highest rates of job growth.

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