Special Report

College Majors With the Highest Unemployment

Americans with a bachelor’s degree are nearly half as likely to be unemployed as those with only a high school diploma. While earning a college degree is a proven way to reduce the likelihood of unemployment, not all undergraduate fields of study provide equally solid job security. 

Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey, 24/7 Wall St. identified the college majors with the highest unemployment rates. Across all labor force participants with a bachelor’s degree, the annual unemployment rate stood at 2.6% in 2019. Among the majors on this list, the unemployment rate at that time ranged from 3.6% to over 8%. 

While those who majored in the academic disciplines on this list are more likely to be unemployed than most college graduates, most are still far less likely to be unemployed than those without a college degree. According to the same survey, the unemployment rate among those of all education levels was is 4.5% in 2019.

It is important to note that since 2019, the U.S. job market has changed markedly, largely as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Unemployment soared from a multi-decade low to a high not seen since the Great Depression in just a matter of months, affecting Americans of all education levels. Here is a look at the American brands that went bankrupt during COVID

As student debt soars in the United States, job security in future career prospects is not the only factor for students to consider when choosing a major. Earning potential will also affect the financial footing of college graduates — and though these majors on this list have higher than average unemployment, many of those who are working are relatively well compensated. For 10 majors on this list, average salaries are higher than the average annual salary of $63,448 among working college graduates. Here is a look at the states where people struggle most with student debt

Click here to see college majors with the highest unemployment.
Click here to read our detailed methodology.

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