Special Report

College Majors With the Lowest Unemployment

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5. Agriculture production and management
> Unemployment rate: 0.7%
> Avg. salary: $62,937
> BA holders with a master’s degree: 10.8%
> BA holders in labor force: 112,886

Agriculture production and management majors learn how to run all aspects of farms and other agricultural businesses — from economics and finances to use of natural resources — during their undergraduate course work. Students who choose this major can opt to focus in different areas, including crop production, animal husbandry, sustainable agriculture, and aquaculture.

With a 0.7% unemployment rate among the 112,886 labor force participants who majored in the field, agriculture production and management offers an educational base for a stable career. Some of the most popular colleges offering this major are Texas A&M, North Dakota State University, and North Carolina State University.

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4. Mathematics and computer science
> Unemployment rate: 0.7%
> Avg. salary: $100,580
> BA holders with a master’s degree: 47.9%
> BA holders in labor force: 17,529

Mathematics and computer science is an interdisciplinary major that combines the two fields, drawing concepts and tools from each and connecting them. Those who choose this major have not only some of the most stable career prospects with an unemployment rate of just 0.7%, but also one of the most potentially lucrative careers. The average salary among those who studied math and computer science as undergraduates is $100,580.

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3. Oceanography
> Unemployment rate: 0.5%
> Avg. salary: $64,863
> BA holders with a master’s degree: 33.0%
> BA holders in labor force: 19,049

Oceanography majors study the ocean’s chemical and physical properties and how the waters move and interact with the rest of the environment — namely the atmosphere and land. As is the case with many majors on this list, oceanography is a hard science that can incorporate elements of math, biology, physics, and chemistry. Of the more than 19,000 labor force participants who majored in oceanography as undergraduates, only 0.5% are unemployed.

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2. Pharmacology
> Unemployment rate: 0.0%
> Avg. salary: $95,683
> BA holders with a master’s degree: 54.6%
> BA holders in labor force: 12,762

College students who choose to major in pharmacology study the chemical makeup of drugs, how they interact with the body and with each other, and their potential uses as treatments for certain diseases and conditions. Occupations associated with pharmacology studies include pharmacist, biomedical scientist, toxicologist, and analytical chemist. Many of these jobs require a postgraduate degree, and over half of all pharmacology majors go on to earn a master’s, and 37.8% earn a doctorate. Pharmacology is one of only two majors where the unemployment rate is effectively 0%.

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1. Soil science
> Unemployment rate: 0.0%
> Avg. salary: $66,210
> BA holders with a master’s degree: 46.7%
> BA holders in labor force: 5,930

Soil science majors study soil, typically in the context of agriculture, learning the chemical properties of soil, which soils are best suited for specific crops, how to control weeds, as well as conservation and soil management. Students who choose this major often end up working as advisers to crop farmers domestically and abroad, analyzing the mineral content of soil samples, or specializing in a specific crop type.

According to the BLS, the demand for workers in agricultural science is projected to grow faster than average in the coming years as pressing new challenges arise related to population growth and increased demand for resources. Along with pharmacology, soil science is one of only two majors where the unemployment rate is effectively 0%.