Salaries for the 6 Worst-Paying College Majors Are Under $40,000

There are six college diplomas that will leave graduates earning a median salary of $40,000 or less, five years after graduation, according to an analysis by the New York Federal Reserve.

Graduate students standing in a row, outdoors

Top salaries typically belong to graduates in the technology and science fields.

Barry Austin Photography

The analysis, published in February, took into account the earnings of recent college graduates and explored the labor market according to their college major. The New York Federal Reserve’s data analyzed the median salaries of graduates aged between 22 to 27 years old in 2021.

The New York Federal Reserve found the six lowest-paying majors fall under social sciences and liberal arts. In comparison, the highest-paying majors are all in science, technology, engineering, and math, or STEM industries. Notably, chemical engineers took the top spot when it came to high wages, with a median salary of $75,000 five years after graduation.

Take a look at how much the lowest-paying majors are earning, according to the New York Federal Reserve’s data. The unemployment and underemployment — the people who are working but not doing as much as they are capable of — rates for each are shared as well. 

Entrants are arranged from the highest median salary to the lowest.


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