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Majors for Fiscally Minded Students

At one time in our history, attending college was just another rite of passage for many high school graduates. They often gave no serious thought to selecting majors that would be advantageous on the job market, and many chose to pursue educational goals solely because they had a personal interest in the subject matter. Rising costs of higher education and an uncertain economic climate have made many potential students aware of the need to solidly plan for their future by receiving quality education that will provide the skills that today’s employers need. However, others are still choosing to obtain degrees that are less than valuable and often end up working in coffee shops after college graduation as a result.

Consider your college major carefully when planning for the futureEven students from middle and high income families are taking on educational debt these days, and coffee shop wages don’t go far when attempting to pay back student loan obligations. Because defaulting on student loans can negatively impact credit scores, those working in coffee shops may find themselves having great difficulty advancing in life. An art history degree, for instance, might be a personally fulfilling goal, but it usually won’t fill the bank account to a liveable extent.

College Majors to Avoid

Although there are no guarantees that specific types of degrees will automatically lead to high income potential, students can hedge their bets by avoiding certain majors. Here’s a list of degree programs that those serious about their future solvency will want to bypass:

Performing Arts

Although an education in drama and theater can make applicants for coffee shop positions stand out among others, their chances of earning a viable income in their chosen career field are fairly dim. If they are lucky enough to secure a job related to their program of study, the starting salary is usually a dismal $26,000 per year. Persevering performing arts majors can sometimes make as much as $45,000 per year.

Social Work

The financial outlook for those with degrees in social work is even worse than that of performing arts majors, and they don’t even have the miniscule chance of becoming celebrities. Starting salaries for those with an education in social work ia $30,000 per year and usually tops off at a lofty $43,000 per year after a great deal of experience is gained.


Another fairly useless major is hospitality management. Although employment at resort hotels and five-star restaurants sounds glamorous and fun, the reality often involves long hours, low pay and grueling work conditions. New graduates can expect to start at around $32,000 per year and eventually reach the neighborhood of $54,000 per year. Employment prospects are scarce and the field has a high burn-out rate.


Students who wish to be on the fast track to a lifelong career serving lattes and cappuccinos are advised to major in philosophy. Philosophy majors are extremely attractive to coffee-shop hiring managers because they’re likely to become loyal, long-term employees who can relate well to the clientele. Those lucky enough to secure positions related to their academic studies usually begin in the neighborhood of $30,00 per year and sometimes reach as much as $50,000 per year at the end of their career.

Although fulfilling personal intellectual goals is essential to overall quality of life, a college education also needs to be considered an investment. Those entering the halls of higher education are advised to give future prospects deep consideration before committing themselves to a major.