Special Report

College Majors With the Lowest Unemployment

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15. Social science or history teacher education
> Unemployment rate: 1.5%
> Avg. salary: $36,001
> BA holders with a master’s degree: 48.0%
> BA holders in labor force: 137,777

Social studies and history teachers instruct students about national or world history while putting current events in a broader context. Teachers are pillars of society and will be in demand for the foreseeable future. Social science or history teacher education is one of several fields on this list whose majors tend to have careers in education. Like other education-related majors on the list, it also has among the lowest average pay.

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14. Atmospheric sciences and meteorology
> Unemployment rate: 1.4%
> Avg. salary: $66,337
> BA holders with a master’s degree: 48.7%
> BA holders in labor force: 24,331

College students who major in atmospheric sciences and meteorology study the atmosphere, typically in the context of weather and how to forecast it. As certain private businesses are increasingly dependent on understanding weather, for making deliveries or buying and selling renewable energy, demand for atmospheric scientists is expected to remain strong. Employment in the occupation is projected to grow by 8% from 2018 to 2028, faster than the average expected growth across all occupations during that time. Just 1.4% of the 24,331 Americns in the labor force with a degree in atmospheric sciences and meteorology are out of a job.

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13. Genetics
> Unemployment rate: 1.2%
> Avg. salary: $87,626
> BA holders with a master’s degree: 56.5%
> BA holders in labor force: 21,425

Genetics majors study how DNA is passed down through generations and such wide ranging implications as evolution and passing on hereditary diseases. Many who study genetics as undergraduates go on to receive graduate degrees in biology, medicine, and veterinary medicine in pursuit of a range of careers, including biomedical engineering, medical science, and forensic science.

As is often the case for graduates with degrees in hard sciences on this list, workers who studied genetics in college are generally well paid, earning an average annual salary of $87,626.

12. Molecular biology
> Unemployment rate: 1.2%
> Avg. salary: $103,049
> BA holders with a master’s degree: 52.6%
> BA holders in labor force: 89,613

Molecular biology is a branch of biology that focuses on cell characteristics and chemical processes within organisms. Molecular biology is an option for undergraduates at many schools, as well as for graduate students. It is one of several majors in the hard sciences to rank on this list. And just like the others, graduates with a degree in molecular biology are well paid with an average salary of $103,049.

Some common jobs awaiting molecular biology students include pharmacists, biological scientists, and clinical laboratory technologists. The unemployment rate among the 89,613 labor force participants with a molecular biology undergraduate degree is just 1.2%.

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11. Educational psychology
> Unemployment rate: 1.2%
> Avg. salary: $42,825
> BA holders with a master’s degree: 72.1%
> BA holders in labor force: 24,971

Educational psychology students study education through the lens of psychology and apply theories of psychology to improve educational outcomes. They also study environmental effects on education, including those outside the classroom. It is not an especially common major, with fewer than 25,000 Americans in the labor force holding an educational psychology undergraduate degree. Many are working as teachers, psychologists, or managers in school settings, and they are among the least likely labor force participants to be unemployed.