Special Report

College Majors With the Lowest Unemployment

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25. Communication disorders sciences and services
> Unemployment rate: 1.6%
> Avg. salary: $45,930
> BA holders with a master’s degree: 69.5%
> BA holders in labor force: 240,185

Communication disorders sciences and services majors study scientific treatment options for individuals with speech, hearing, and a range of cognitive communication problems caused by a disability, disease, or injury. Of the 240,185 labor force participants who studied communication disorders as undergraduates, only 1.6% are unemployed, well below the pre-pandemic 2.6% unemployment rate among all labor force participants with a bachelor’s degree.

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24. Plant science and agronomy
> Unemployment rate: 1.6%
> Avg. salary: $49,743
> BA holders with a master’s degree: 26.7%
> BA holders in labor force: 95,235

Students who major in plant science and agronomy learn about different agricultural crops and the factors that would maximize their yield. To that end, they typically study a variety of topics, including pest control, soil quality, and weed control. Those who decide to major in this field typically have a demonstrated interest in biology, chemistry, and environmental science.

The careers available to those who major in plant science and agronomy — which include conservation scientists, crop farmers, and ranchers — are relatively secure. The unemployment rate among the more than 95,000 Americans with this degree is just 1.6%.

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23. Health and medical preparatory programs
> Unemployment rate: 1.5%
> Avg. salary: $106,017
> BA holders with a master’s degree: 48.6%
> BA holders in labor force: 101,712

Americans who decide to go into health care are less likely to be unemployed than those in the vast majority of careers. Of the more than 100,000 Americans in the labor force who majored in health and medical preparatory programs, only 1.5% are unemployed.

Many jobs in medicine and health care require additional education beyond undergraduate. Nearly half of all Americans in the labor force who majored in health and medical preparatory programs have at least a master’s degree, and more than a quarter have a doctorate.

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22. Elementary education
> Unemployment rate: 1.5%
> Avg. salary: $27,542
> BA holders with a master’s degree: 44.0%
> BA holders in labor force: 1,364,551

Teachers are needed in every town in the United States, and as long as Americans continue to have children, teachers will be in demand. Of the 1.4 million people in the workforce who majored in elementary education, only 1.5% are unemployed.

The kinds of careers the majors on this list have often require a postgraduate degree. While elementary school teachers do not necessarily need a master’s degree, many earn them to improve their skill set and for higher pay. Some 44% of Americans in the labor force who majored in elementary education have a master’s degree. Despite this, the major has one of the lower average annual salaries, at $27,542, less than half the average across all occupations of $61,539.

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21. Computer networking and telecommunications
> Unemployment rate: 1.5%
> Avg. salary: $70,477
> BA holders with a master’s degree: 18.2%
> BA holders in labor force: 71,208

The unemployment rate among labor force participants who majored in computer networking and telecommunications is just 1.5%. Students who choose this major study communications technology, primarily phones and computers, learning the latest advancements and what is likely coming in the near future.

A computer networking and telecommunications background can prepare students for careers in high-demand jobs, including network systems analysts, computer systems analysts, and network administrators.