What not to study: The 20 university degrees with the highest unemployment rates

Obviously, your choice of degree affects your employability. There are other factors to consider, such as the popularity of the degree and the earning potential - all of which you can view here. But for a simple look, below are the 20 highest and lowest unemployment rates by degree."

Graduates of "library science," it seems, have one of the highest rates of unemployment. The post is based on 2010 Census data (via the Wall Street Journal). More...

[Thanks Von!]


Not shocking. When I started earning my MLIS in 2004, we were told all about the Brave New World of Information and how our skills would be highly sought upon graduation. Well, I graduated in 2007 and am still working in the (mostly unrelated) field I was in before and during grad school.

It was for *undergraduate* degrees, not graduate degrees. And the WSJ got the data from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce

Indeed, if the unemployment rate for a bachelor's in LIS is only 15%, that's remarkable, since the degree is wholly worthless for any U.S. job as a librarian. (You might learn something worthwhile, but the degree itself would be exactly as relevant as my BA in Rhetoric.)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but are there not school media specialists that do well financially with just a BS in library science and a teaching certificate in public schools?

as to whether the statistics were measuring percentages employed in their field, or simply employed at all. I suppose that some degrees translate better into any employment than others. Considering the current situation with schools, I wonder if the percentages for education degrees will remain the same.

Something that occurred to me as I was reading the lists was that in some areas, many of the people pursuing a degree are already working in the field. I grew up in a farming community, and attended a small university in the same area, so I have seen at first hand that a large percentage of people getting an agriculture degree are already farming or closely associated with a farm or farming organization, and are pursing the degree to improve skills they already have. Chances are good that they would be working in the field (no pun intended) whether or not they had the degree. I'm not sure how many other fields might have similar situations.

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