The 5 Most Regrettable College Majors (And The Least)



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"What do you want to be when you grow up?"


For the students that are not quite yet sure what major they should be pursuing in college, today's blog article may help you decide on what study not to chase.


Various factors such as income, job opportunities, satisfaction, stress, and more are all significant elements when it comes to choosing the area of specialty you will be studying at a university. Let's not forget the extent of your passion and interest in the field.


For the sake of today's blog, we will focus primarily on the college majors students regret taking based on the following components:

  • Low earnings

  • Limited employment opportunities

  • Weak job satisfaction

  • Difficulty obtaining a job without further studies


What college majors do people most regret?


As income should not be the only deciding factor, we pulled information from the job website - ZipRecruiter. The survey consisted of 5,000 college graduates who were actively seeking employment. ZipRecruiter placed questions of "regret" that obtained results not solely about income.


With their data, we found that the disciplines college students regretted taking the most stretched into the fields of arts and sciences. These were the most regrettable not simply because of low potential earnings but also due to its stress level and degree of job opportunities available post-graduation.


According to their collective information, the following are the most-lamented college majors by college students:

  1. English and Foreign Languages (42% regretted their choice)

  2. Biological and Physical Sciences (35% regretted their choice)

  3. Education (31% regretted their choice)

  4. Social Sciences and Law (29% regretted their choice)

  5. Communications (27% regretted their choice)


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This is reinforced by other findings, such as the business data group PayScale. Their study consisted of over 248,000 college graduates and posed the question of whether they regretted their major or not.


Humanities majors declared regretting their area of study at a higher rate than other disciplines, 21 percent (Humanities include specific studies like English and History).



Let's take a look at the flip side, the areas of studies that college graduate students are finding the least regrettable (and provide greater revenue potential).


What are the college majors that are the least-regretted?


The study, broken down, provided a stark contrast between majors and their projected earnings. For the students that followed degrees in engineering, science, technology, and math - all were expected to earn the most out of all other majors overall. You probably know these most commonly as STEM disciplines.


Students that choose fields that lead towards greater-earning jobs typically tend to see a higher proportion of respondents who had the least laments about college overall.


The following breaks down the percentage of college students who felt they made the wrong choice in STEM disciplines:

  • Computer Science and Mathematics (12.78% regretted their choice)

  • Business (15.50% regretted their choice)

  • Engineering (15.91% regretted their choice)

  • Health Administration and Assisting (17.95% regretted their choice)

  • Health Sciences and Technology (18.94% regretted their choice)


In comparison to the percentages mentioned in the most regrettable college majors, you will see that these majors have a lower rate of remorse.


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This does not necessarily mean you have to pursue a major in the degrees in order to achieve a high earning salary. Successfully obtaining a Bachelor's degree alone opens up various doors of possibilities.


In our current economy, a Bachelor's degree still retains its value - generally helping students obtain 84% more income than individuals with a high school diploma. Those who obtained higher levels of education also saw a larger payoff.


What do these regrettable college majors mean for you as a student?


Of course, there are plenty of individuals who specialize in these areas and go on to have high-paying salaries that they also enjoy, and there are most definitely engineers or business majors that wish they never studied their particular degree.


As a whole collective, this means that you should be asking yourself beyond the question of "what area of study do you love most?". Instead, you need to inquire and probe beyond:

  • Will this occupation still be present in the future, or will it be obsolete due to changes in technology, consumer preferences, or culture?

  • Will the economy change drastically that this occupation's likelihood of employment will diminish?

  • Is the college you plan on attending strong in this occupation? Do they have strong faculty or programs with advanced knowledge in the discipline? Without enough faculty members in the department, few courses can be taught to the best of the university's ability.


Instead of fixating primarily on potential income alone, students need to take into account other measures.

7EDU Impact Academy offers many college preparation services including one-on-ones, counseling, and specific courses.


Schedule your free 30-minute consultation

with one of our academic counselors at (408) 216-9109.

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