Special Report

College Majors With the Lowest Unemployment

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15. Elementary education
> Unemployment rate: 1.4%
> Avg. salary: $28,376
> Undergrad degree holders with a master’s or professional degree or higher: 45.0%
> Undergrad degree holders in labor force: 1,411,375

Elementary education majors study to prepare for careers in both public and private elementary schools. Education is a universal basic service provided in cities and towns across the United States, and partially as a result, jobs in education tend to be relatively secure. Of the 1.4 million Americans in the labor force who majored in elementary education, only 1.4% are unemployed.

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14. Animal sciences
> Unemployment rate: 1.4%
> Avg. salary: $57,154
> Undergrad degree holders with a master’s or professional degree or higher: 33.4%
> Undergrad degree holders in labor force: 161,061

The unemployment rate among labor force participants who majored in animal sciences is just 1.4%. The major prepares students for careers in fields such as veterinary medicine, zookeeping, wildlife conservation, and farm management. As students, animal science majors study a broad range of subjects in life sciences, including animal nutritionion, reproduction, and development.

Demand for workers who studied animal science will likely only grow in the coming years. One reason is that American consumers have been spending more and more on their pets. As a result, veterinary jobs are projected to grow 16% in the decade ending in 2029, more than four times faster than the average growth across all occupations.

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13. Medical assisting services
> Unemployment rate: 1.3%
> Avg. salary: $50,688
> Undergrad degree holders with a master’s or professional degree or higher: 23.7%
> Undergrad degree holders in labor force: 89,039

Medical assisting services majors are preparing for jobs in the health care industry, which is one of the fastest growing and most secure in the United States. Medical assistant responsibilities can include running tests, keeping records, medication administration, providing first aid, and answering patient phone calls.

As the baby boom generation ages and requires increasing medical care, demand for medical assistants is projected to grow by 19% by 2029, well above the 4% growth across all occupations. Currently, only 1.3% of labor force participants who majored in medical assisting services are unemployed.

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12. Botany
> Unemployment rate: 1.3%
> Avg. salary: $46,831
> Undergrad degree holders with a master’s or professional degree or higher: 52.8%
> Undergrad degree holders in labor force: 20,652

Botany is the scientific study of plants. Botany majors can focus on any number of fields of study, including cell biology, plant anatomy, ecosystem ecology, and plant-animal interactions. Possible employers for botanists run the gamut from from the public sector to the private and include biotechnology companies, the federal government, and colleges and universities.

Demand for the expertise of botanists will likely continue to grow in the future. Currently, only 1.3% of those who studied botany as undergraduates are unemployed.

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11. Atmospheric sciences and meteorology
> Unemployment rate: 1.3%
> Avg. salary: $72,649
> Undergrad degree holders with a master’s or professional degree or higher: 47.7%
> Undergrad degree holders in labor force: 28,254

Atmospheric sciences and meteorology majors study the Earth’s atmosphere, weather forecasting, and the climate. The major involves laboratory work and requires calculus, chemistry, and physics skills.

Only 1.3% of labor force participants who majored in atmospheric sciences and meteorology as undergraduates are unemployed, and demand for these workers is projected to grow faster than average as private businesses will increasingly need to account for weather patterns to manage inventory and supply chains.

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