Saturday, August 7, 2010

Phew! Eight Lowest-Paying Majors

Nice to see poli sci is not on the list of concentrations leading to poor wages: social work, athletic training, recreation and leisure, interior design, religious studies, horticulture, education, and culinary arts.   Of course, political science is not on the list of top paying majors either (mostly engineering and hard science stuff). 

Most striking about this list is that these majors are applied (even religious studies, sort of), focused on getting training for a specific kind of job.  They are not part of the classic liberal arts and sciences set of majors (again, religious studies is perhaps the exception), so it is striking that studying for specific jobs leads to poorer pay than  more general educations that sharpen (theoretically anyway) critical thinking, writing, communication skills that might just have a wee bit more flexibility down the road.  The list does not mention English, Sociology or Philosophy (who knows, they might be on the bottom 15 list, or not), so even these majors help folks develop skill sets that are marketable in some way, despite what folks on Avenue Q might sing.

Of course, the irony is that I am using money to argue that the pursuit of knowledge is better than the pursuit of money.   Ooops.

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