With the staggering cost of higher education, ROI must be given priority. Not all degrees are at par and hence selecting a college degree is as essential as investing in stocks. A little knowledge can go miles – that’s with most things. Learning about college degrees and their outcomes could be enough to deter anyone from wasting time and money on a degree that does not pay off. Here are 7 college degrees with the worst return on investment:
Degree in communications could lead to a career in the realm of visual arts or broadcasting or media. Various statistics have predicted a drop of over 12% to 15% for reporters and correspondents up to the year 2020 or so. Meantime, positions for editors are expected to decrease by 2% and that for proof readers and copymakers will also drop by 1-2%. None of these jobs are lucrative anyway.
Learning the working systems of the human brain and actions of humans is all that you learn here. But that won’t let you become a psychologist, which is possible only if you have a doctoral degree. This leads one to become a psychiatric technician or a disorder counselor with an average pay of say $30 000 to $35 000. The statistics are disturbing with probability of such employment increasing merely by 2-3% in the coming decade.
3. Fashion design
While many people enter this arena without any degree at all, most professional designers do hold a degree in fashion designing. In fact, the most important qualities for a career in fashion designing are the inherent skill to design clothing, sense of style and artistic taste. In their absence, even the best college may not be able to teach them.
But securing a job here, with or without the degree is not all that easy. But the statistics are gloomy with predictions of decrease in designers up to 5% in the coming 8-10 years. If you can find an employment or make a career, the earnings are not that bad, and that won’t matter whether you have a degree or not.
Want to study how the societies function and work? Only if you decide to pursue a career as a social worker or correctional officer. Prospects don’t look bright at all here. Job openings for correctional treatment specialists and probation officers are likely to increase just by 1-2% in the next decade.
Opportunities for social workers may see a rise of approximately 10%. Earnings for such fields are not very encouraging that currently stand at $38 000 – for correctional treatment specialists while for correctional officers and jailers it rests around $39 500.
5. Liberal arts
This college degree is not specialized to prepare you for a specific career. Students don’t know where to land and they end up working in a entirely differently field like brokers, real estate, finance, sales, insurance agents etc. Liberal arts majors have been red marked as a group that ‘fared poorly’ even as late as 2015 when it came to overall employment probabilities, which proves that though you may be a well rounded person, it won’t necessarily help you get a decent job.
6. Fine arts
Fine arts degree could help in some artistic field like music, photography or performing arts. Taking a few studio classes or making sculptures somewhere may take you along the same journey. Either way it doesn’t look all that bright to begin with. Employments for artists and photographers could vary between 0.6% to 1.5% as there are estimates to find employment and demand for video and still photographers going up around 5% in the long run of the next 10 years.
Earnings in these fields is also dismal varying between $28 000 to $35 000. Fine artists may be earning a little higher – around $40 000. In fine, your opportunities are better only if you are truly gifted and driven.
7. Criminal justice
This degree would make sense only in very specific fields. For instance, if you work as a police officer or detective, which may not be an honest choice. In fact, these professions typically require a training at an academy from their agency and a fixed number of job training hours.
Even if these professions did require a degree in criminal justice, the scope for jobs are not much. The global estimate shows that employment for police patrols may rise by 6% and that of criminal investigators by a mere 2% in the next decade or so.
Various studies have shown degree holders earn more than those with high school degrees over a lifetime. With inflation increasing faster, weak economy have led to higher cost of education. Education loans are going to find grads struggling to pay the loans and hence the obvious question is “Is it worth the degree?”