New rankings: The most and least valuable college majors

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New rankings: Most and least valuable college majors
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It’s no secret that some degrees pay off more than others, but there are other important factors involved when it comes to choosing the most valuable college major that you can.

A new Bankrate.com study shows the most and least valuable college majors. Naval architecture and marine engineering is #1, according to the findings.

These are the most and least valuable college majors

Overall, STEM majors — health sciences and engineering roles among them — are tops on the list. To come up with their results, Bankrate.com ranked 162 college majors based on the following three factors:

  • Average annual income — 70% of the ranking
  • Unemployment rate— 20% of the ranking
  • Likelihood of schooling beyond bachelor’s degree — 10% of the ranking

“Choosing a college major is a personal balancing act between passion, earning potential and job opportunities. Many students may need an advanced degree – which often costs more money and time – to get the full benefit from their undergrad education,” says Bankrate.com data analyst Adrian Garcia. “Do your research; this is one of the most important financial decisions many people make, and the repercussions can be long-lasting.”

So how much can you make with a degree in Naval architecture and marine engineering? The median income is $90,000 and the unemployment rate is just 1.6%.

Here are the most valuable college majors in 2019


The most valuable college majors in 2019

Rank Degree Average income Unemployment Higher degree holders
1 Naval Architecture And Marine Engineering $90,000 1.6% 29%
2 Nuclear Engineering $98,100 1.8% 56%
3 Pharmacy Pharmaceutical Sciences And Administration $100,000 2.2% 58%
4 Genetics $85,000 1.2% 76%
5 Electrical Engineering $99,000 2.7% 46%
6 Architectural Engineering $74,000 1.5% 29%
7 Aerospace Engineering $90,000 2.3% 49%
8 Computer Engineering $92,000 2.8% 40%
9 Electrical Engineering Technology $76,000 1.8% 30%
10 Materials Science $90,000 2.0% 66%
Source: Bankrate.com

On the other end of the spectrum, Drama and Theater Arts came in as the least valuable college major.

People who major in that field earn an average of $35,000 a year, the fourth-lowest median salary on the list. In addition, 26% of them have invested in an advanced degree, more than 38 other majors, the study shows.

Here are the least valuable college majors


The least valuable college majors in 2019

 

Rank Degree Average income Unemployment Higher degree holders
153 Cosmetology Services And Culinary Arts $35,000 3.3% 12%
154 Mass Media $40,000 6.0% 16%
155 Music $36,000 3.1% 42%
156 Miscellaneous Fine Arts $38,000 5,7% 20%
157 Film Video And Photographic Arts $37,000 6.5% 15%
158 Fine Arts $37,000 4.8% 24%
159 Linguistics And Comparative Language And Literature $40,000 3.9% 45%
160 Composition And Rhetoric $37,800 4.4% 29%
161 Visual And Performing Arts $32,000 4.1% 23%
162 Drama And Theater Arts $35,500 5.2% 26%
Source: Bankrate.com

To learn more about the rankings, go to Bankrate.com and see if your college major is one of the 162 that made the list.

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