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Using PayScale’s 2019 College Salary Report, Stacker researched the 50 college majors that earn the least money. The 2019 report surveyed 3.5 million college graduates and 835 bachelor degrees ranked by mid-career median salary, or the fitted salary one makes after working in the field for over 10 years. By definition, a fitted salary combines the base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime, and other forms of cash earnings.
Stock compensation was not included when considering the annual salary of each college major but can be a significant portion of pay for specific executive and high-tech jobs. Further, a wage for the noted college major does not include the cash value of retirement benefits or the amount of other non-cash benefits, including health care and other ancillary benefits. PayScale’s salaries, which were inflation-adjusted to June 2018 dollars to ensure apples-to-apples comparison over the data collection period, do not directly reflect that of the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS). For most of the majors, BLS salaries are higher, even though the level of education required is the same.
Any ties in salaries were broken by early career pay, or by the fitted salary one makes in zero to five years on the job. Stacker also included the percentage of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place, suggesting that it could be true that when you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life. The research also revealed some truth in the term starving artist: Many of the monetarily modest majors including singing, dancing, and artistry.
Additionally, several low-paying teaching majors on the list confirm the plight of educators who graduate but can’t make ends meet on a minimum salary. Between rising student debt and inflation, it is likely many who majored in the noted subjects have second jobs to pay the bills.
Read on to find out the 50 college majors that earn the least money.
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