Search
Advice » Salary & Benefits» Salary Information » Worst-Paying College Degrees ...
Worst-Paying College Degrees of 2011

Worst-Paying College Degrees of 2011

In numerous studies on career satisfaction, salary places surprisingly low on the list of things that make workers happy. Other concerns -- such as work-life balance and a feeling of making a difference -- are more important to many people.       

And when you take a look at the college degrees that bring in the lowest salaries, many of them qualify a person to work in a helping profession (social work, for example).

These workers are clearly not motivated solely by money.

However, it's also worth noting that people who have many of these degrees go for further education, thus increasing their earning power. Plus, more and more people are switching careers once or twice in their lives. The degree you get today doesn't necessarily determine what you'll be doing 15 or 20 years from now.

As they say, money can't buy happiness. But if you think you'll want to purchase some, you may want to avoid these courses of study -- the worst-paying degrees of 2011.*

1. Child and Family Studies

Often a step toward further studies (in education or family counseling, for instance), this degree is the lowest-paying on the list, in terms of both starting and mid-career salary. On the other hand, this degree also prepares a person for parenthood -- which many people consider to be the most rewarding job possible.

Starting median salary: $29,600; mid-career median salary: $40,500

2. Elementary Education

Teaching is a noble career. While teacher salaries are low, job opportunities for teachers are expected to grow by 14 percent this decade, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Starting median salary: $32,400; mid-career median salary: $44,000

3. Social Work

Social workers offer an indispensable safety net for people who've fallen on hard times. And the BLS reports a favorable outlook for opportunities in this field -- particularly for social workers who work in rural areas or with senior citizens.

Starting median salary: $32,200; mid-career median salary: $44,300

4. Culinary Arts

For food lovers who dream of becoming chefs or opening their own restaurants, happiness is about cooking up delicious dishes, not a big paycheck. Plus, in this field, meals are often included in a day's work.

Starting median salary: $29,900; mid-career median salary: $46,800

5. Special Education

Although the pay may be low, this is work anyone can be proud of. Traditional licensing in this field requires the completion of at least a bachelor's degree; some states require a master's degree. The BLS predicts excellent job prospects, in part due to reported shortages of qualified teachers.

Starting median salary: $34,300; mid-career median salary: $47,800

6. Recreation and Leisure Studies

It shouldn't come as a surprise that a degree in leisure will not put you on the fast track to a supersize salary. All joking aside, this field of study covers leisure, recreation and play-related phenomena, including human behavior, social issues and public policy. Grads who earn this degree often seek further education (becoming, for instance, recreational therapists).

Starting median salary: $34,500; mid-career median salary: $49,100

7. Religious Studies or Theology

People who earn this degree aren’t in it for the money. They often feel they're pursuing a higher calling and have a strong desire to do good in the world, no matter the cost.

Starting median salary: $32,300; mid-career median salary: $50,600

8. Athletic Training

Athletic trainers prevent, diagnose, treat and rehab injuries and sport-related illnesses. They also prevent and treat chronic musculoskeletal injuries from sports, physical and occupational activity and provide immediate care for acute injuries.

Starting median salary: $34,600; mid-career median salary: $50,200

9. Public Health

Public health offers many career paths. Whether you crunch numbers, conduct research or work with people, you know you’re working to improve others' lives. Higher-paying careers in public health generally require an advanced degree.

Starting median salary: $35,500; mid-career median salary: $51,700


10. Art

A degree in art prepares you for many careers in visual arts -- but, unfortunately, art is one of those fields where many of the most famous practitioners didn't find commercial success until it was too late for them to enjoy it.

Starting median salary: $35,300; mid-career median salary: $52,400

* Based on PayScale Salary Survey data for full-time employees in the US who possess a bachelor's degree and no higher degrees. All colleges and universities across the nation were included. Salary is the sum of compensation from base salary, bonuses, profit sharing, commissions and overtime (if applicable). This survey is part of PayScale's Best Colleges Report.
 

Latest Jobs

Georgia Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
Posted: 07/27/2014
Marietta, GA, 30008
SHAW'S
Posted: 07/27/2014
NEWBURYPORT, MA, 01950
SHAW'S / STAR MARKET
Posted: 07/27/2014
SALEM, MA, 01970
Wald Imports Ltd Inc
Posted: 07/27/2014
Telecommute
Posted: 07/27/2014
Century City, CA, 90067

Want more personalized results?  Update Your Profile

 
 
 

Monster Communities

Teaching Community
Where teachers meet and learn.
ArtBistro
Create and connect.
Excelle
Networking for the career-minded woman.
Nursing Link
Where nurses call the shots.
More Monster Communities

Monster Partners

Scholarships
Scholarships, financial aid and more ways to pay for school.
Education.org
Find top campus and online degree programs.
Military.com
Military portal for the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Financial Aid
Scholarships & financial aid.
Staffing for Government Jobs
Staffing and hiring solutions for federal government agency jobs.
More Monster Partners

Job Hunt Strategy

Six Ways to Make a Recruiter Hate You
If you want to blow your chances with recruiters -- and, by extension, with the companies they work for -- here are six perfect ways to do so.

Resumes & Cover Letters

Rev Up Your Resume to Relocate
Hoping to relocate? Get the ball rolling on landing the right job in the right location with these expert resume and cover letter tips.

Interviewing

100 Potential Interview Questions
Interview questions can run the gamut. You probably won't face all 100 of these, but you should still be prepared to answer at least some of them.

Salary & Benefits

10 Questions to Ask When Negotiating Salary
Most of us aren't natural negotiators, but asking these 10 questions during salary negotiations can help you get everything you deserve.

Employee Sourcing

Alt text
November Monster Employment Index Grows 13% Year-Over-Year, Tenth Consecutive Month of Positive Annual Growth.

For Seekers

Campus and Online Degrees
Advance your career and earn more with an online degree.
Free Salary Wizard
What are you worth? Find out and negotiate a better salary.
Research Careers
Get information on jobs and career paths to help guide your choices
Questions & Answers
Find answers to all your career related questions -- powered by Yahoo! Answers
Resume Distribution Service
Our distribution service puts your resume right in the hands of recruiters.
Resume Writing Services
Our experts will craft a keyword-rich resume that stands out in the crowd.
More Career Resources

For Employers

Career Ad Network
Target your job posting to more candidates on thousands of websites.
Hire Right Background Checks
Explore our background check packages to improve the quality of your hires.
Hiring Home Page
Find the best candidates for your business with Monster hiring solutions.
Job Postings
Find the right solution for your hiring needs. Starting at $99.
Power Resume Search
Monster's new search technology precisely matches people with your jobs.
Resource Center
Find staffing insights, labor trends, HR best practices and more.
Target Post
Connect with skilled, hourly and administrative candidates for only $99.

Social Media

Jobs on Twitter
Find jobs in your area and industry.
Monster Careers
Tune into our career advice and discussions tackling a wide range of topics and industries.
Monster Corporate & PR
Stay up-to-date on the latest news. Get the 'Who', 'What', 'When', and 'Why' on all things Monster related.
Monster Customer Service
Got a Monster question? We've got the answer. Whether you're a job seeker or employer, we can help you find the answers you need.
Monster for Employers
Find advice on hiring.
Follow Us
Check out our many pages and stay connected with the latest industry news, events, career advice and job openings.

Other Links

Monster Company Profiles
Explore companies and get information to guide your career decisions.
Compare Salaries
See how your pay stacks up to others in your field.
iPhone Application
Download the Monster app for iPhone and iPod touch.
Monster Job Seeker Blog
Monster Job Seeker Blog.
Monster Thinking Blog
Monster's Recruitment Trends Blog.
Jobs & Career Resources
Search Jobs:
For Employers: Post Jobs | Search Resumes | Advertise
About Monster | Work for Monster | Advertise with Us | AdChoices | Partner with Us | Investor Relations | Social Media
Terms of Use | Privacy Center | Accessibility Center | Help | Security | Contact Us | Sitemap | Mobile
©2014 Monster - All Rights Reserved U.S. Patents No. 5,832,497; 7,599,930 B1; 7,827,125 and 7,836,060 MWW - Looking for Monster Cable? - V: 2014.4.35.44-201
eTrustLogo