If you want to be employed and live comfortably, a new analysis by Bankrate.com of census data shows that a degree in the arts is not the way to go.
Bankrate, a group that advises people on their personal finances, ranked more than 160 majors based on the median annual income, unemployment rate and career paths that don't demand more than a bachelor's degree for each major. The group's analysis found that college majors dealing with the arts ranked as some of the least valuable majors.
Drama and theater arts was found to be the least valuable college major with a 5.2% unemployment rate and median annual salary of $35,000. More than a quarter of drama and theater arts degree holders also invested in a higher degree.
Also found to be low in value: visual and performing arts, composition and rhetoric, linguistics and comparative language and literature and fine arts.
The five least valuable college majors according to Bankrate are:
|Rank||Degree||Median Income||Unemployment rate||Higher degree holders|
|159||Linguistics and Comparative Language and Literature||$40,000||3.9%||45%|
|160||Composition and Rhetoric||$37,800||4.4%||29%|
|161||Visual and Performing Arts||$32,500||4.1%||23%|
|162||Drama and Theater Arts||$35,500||5.2%||26%|
All majors analyzed were found to have a median income of $55,000 and an average unemployment rate of 2.8% with 37% of all majors seeking a higher degree.
The least valuable college majors were determined based on their low salaries and high unemployment rates. Bankrate said salary wasn't everything in its analysis.
"For example, Mathematics and Computer Science – tied for the second highest median income ($99,000) – fails to crack the top 20 most valuable majors overall (24th) due to a 4.5% unemployment rate amongst graduates, 13th highest on the list," according to a news release from Bankrate.
The analysis found that those with advanced degrees, such as masters or doctoral degrees, did not always earn more.
"Four of the five majors with the highest percentage of advanced degree holders (ranging from 77% to 90%) do not earn a top 50 median salary," a news release from Bankrate says.