32 college majors where graduates don't end up doing what they expect

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College Majors That Don't Pay Off



It's not all that surprising that it's damn near impossible to find a job that will put your Art History or Theater major to good use.

But a good number of people with all kinds of educational backgrounds say they're struggling with underemployment.

Over the course of two years, PayScale collected data from nearly one million US workers and found that, overall, 46% of survey respondents consider themselves underemployed.

Of these respondents, 76% say they are not using their education or training, while 24% say they are working only part-time but would rather work full-time.

By breaking down the data further, PayScale found some interesting trends. According to PayScale's recent Underemployment report, while those at lower educational levels are more likely to be underemployed than those at higher educational levels, workers with some college coursework but no degree have the highest percentage of underemployment at 57%, followed by GED holders and high school graduates at 52%.

Unsurprisingly, Doctors of Medicine degree holders have the lowest percentage of underemployment at 30%, followed by doctorate holders at 34%.

You can check out the full data at PayScale. And for those with a college degree, scroll on for the percentage of underemployed workers, along with the reason for their underemployment, broken down by degree level and major. Each has a higher average of underemployment than the overall average of 46%.

Bachelor's degree in physical education teaching

Percent underemployed: 56.4%

Underemployed because they're not using their education or training: 79.1%

Underemployed because they'd rather work full-time: 20.9%

Bachelor's degree in human services

Percent underemployed: 55.6%

Underemployed because they're not using their education or training: 82.2%

Underemployed because they'd rather work full-time: 17.8%

Bachelor's degree in illustration

Percent underemployed: 54.7%

Underemployed because they're not using their education or training: 74.5%

Underemployed because they'd rather work full-time: 25.5%

Master's degree in criminal justice

Percent underemployed: 54.3%

Underemployed because they're not using their education or training: 89.2%

Underemployed because they'd rather work full-time: 10.8%

Bachelor's degree in criminal justice

Percent underemployed: 53.0%

Underemployed because they're not using their education or training: 87.4%

Underemployed because they'd rather work full-time: 12.8%

Bachelor's degree in project management

Percent underemployed: 52.8%

Underemployed because they're not using their education or training: 91.5%

Underemployed because they'd rather work full-time: 8.5%

Bachelor's degree in radio/television and film production

Percent underemployed: 52.6%

Underemployed because they're not using their education or training: 68.4%

Underemployed because they'd rather work full-time: 31.6%

Bachelor's degree in studio art

Percent underemployed: 52.0%

Underemployed because they're not using their education or training: 69.0%

Underemployed because they'd rather work full-time: 32.2%

RELATED: Top 10 best public universities in America

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Top 10 best public colleges in America

10. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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9. University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign

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8. University of Washington at Seattle

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7. University of Texas at Austin

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6. University of California at San Francisco

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5. University of Wisconsin at Madison

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4. University of California at San Diego

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3. University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

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2. University of California at Los Angeles

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1. University of California at Berkeley

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Bachelor's degree in healthcare administration

Percent underemployed: 51.8%

Underemployed because they're not using their education or training: 83.3%

Underemployed because they'd rather work full-time: 16.7%

Bachelor's degree in education

Percent underemployed: 51.8%

Underemployed because they're not using their education or training: 77.7%

Underemployed because they'd rather work full-time: 22.3%

Master's degree in master of human services

Percent underemployed: 51.6%

Underemployed because they're not using their education or training: 80.0%

Underemployed because they'd rather work full-time: 20.0%

Bachelor's degree in human development and family studies

Percent underemployed: 51.5%

Underemployed because they're not using their education or training: 75.0%

Underemployed because they'd rather work full-time: 25.0%

Bachelor's degree in creative writing

Percent underemployed: 51.1%

Underemployed because they're not using their education or training: 76.2%

Underemployed because they'd rather work full-time: 23.8%

Bachelor's degree in animal science

Percent underemployed: 51.1%

Underemployed because they're not using their education or training: 83.7%

Underemployed because they'd rather work full-time: 16.3%

Bachelor's degree in exercise science

Percent underemployed: 51.0%

Underemployed because they're not using their education or training: 65.6%

Underemployed because they'd rather work full-time: 34.4%

Bachelor's degree in health sciences

Percent underemployed: 50.9%

Underemployed because they're not using their education or training: 77.1%

Underemployed because they'd rather work full-time: 22.9%

Bachelor's degree in paralegal studies

Percent underemployed: 50.9%

Underemployed because they're not using their education or training: 86.7%

Underemployed because they'd rather work full-time: 13.3%

Bachelor's degree in theater

Percent underemployed: 50.8%

Underemployed because they're not using their education or training: 72.9%

Underemployed because they'd rather work full-time: 27.1%

RELATED: Best part-time jobs for college students

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Best part-time job for college students

Nanny 
If you grew up babysitting younger family members, then this position is perfect for you. Not only is being a nanny one of the most flexible part-time jobs, but you can set your own rate. 

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Receptionist
While the hours for this position may not be as flexible, working as an office assistant or receptionist for a major company is a great way to get your foot in the door. As a receptionist you will be tasked with entry-level responsibilities, which will give you a great advantage when applying to your first full-time job. 

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Waiter/Waitress  
Possibly one of the most demanding jobs, working as a server in a restaurant comes with just as much stress as reward. The hours may be long, but at some restaurants, wages can be worth it. 

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Tutor  
Similar to working as a nanny, being a tutor is one of the most flexible job opportunities. As a tutor, you can help others in a variety of subjects. This is a great job for a college student because not only will you be helping others, but you will also be strengthening your knowledge in whatever subject you teach. 

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Freelance Work 
Much like serving, being a freelancer can be very rewarding financially. As a freelancer, you can choose which industry you want to work in and begin to gain experience while still in school. 

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Work-Study Job  
If you are a student who meets the qualifications for financial aid, you can apply for your school's work study program. Work study schedules your shifts around your class schedule and the best part is that most jobs are on campus and the money you make can go directly towards paying off your tuition or any other university balances. 

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Bachelor's degree in art history

Percent underemployed: 50.7%

Underemployed because they're not using their education or training: 77.4%

Underemployed because they'd rather work full-time: 22.6%

MBA degree in global business management

Percent underemployed: 50.3%

Underemployed because they're not using their education or training: 90.0%

Underemployed because they'd rather work full-time: 10.0%

MBA degree in human resources management

Percent underemployed: 49.2%

Underemployed because they're not using their education or training: 87.6%

Underemployed because they'd rather work full-time: 12.4%

MBA degree in leadership

Percent underemployed: 49.0%

Underemployed because they're not using their education or training: 90.1%

Underemployed because they'd rather work full-time: 9.9%

Master's degree in public administration

Percent underemployed: 49.1%

Underemployed because they're not using their education or training: 87.1%

Underemployed because they'd rather work full-time: 12.9%

MBA degree in leadership

Percent underemployed: 49.0%

Underemployed because they're not using their education or training: 90.1%

Underemployed because they'd rather work full-time: 9.9%

Master's degree in business management

Percent underemployed: 48.6%

Underemployed because they're not using their education or training: 92.3%

Underemployed because they'd rather work full-time: 7.7%

Master's degree in mental health counseling

Percent underemployed: 48.0%

Underemployed because they're not using their education or training: 66.9%

Underemployed because they'd rather work full-time: 33.1%

Master's degree in organizational leadership

Percent underemployed: 47.2%

Underemployed because they're not using their education or training: 93.6%

Underemployed because they'd rather work full-time: 6.4%

Master's degree in theology

Percent underemployed: 47.2%

Underemployed because they're not using their education or training: 59.3%

Underemployed because they'd rather work full-time: 40.7%

Master's degree in history

Percent underemployed: 47.1%

Underemployed because they're not using their education or training: 79.2%

Underemployed because they'd rather work full-time: 20.8%

Master's degree in education

Percent underemployed: 47.0%

Underemployed because they're not using their education or training: 76.0%

Underemployed because they'd rather work full-time: 24.0%

Master's degree in human resources management

Percent underemployed: 46.9%

Underemployed because they're not using their education or training: 85.3%

Underemployed because they'd rather work full-time: 14.7%

Master's degree in project management

Percent underemployed: 46.8%

Underemployed because they're not using their education or training: 90.2%

Underemployed because they'd rather work full-time: 9.8%

Master's degree in counseling

Percent underemployed: 46.4%

Underemployed because they're not using their education or training: 70.6%

Underemployed because they'd rather work full-time: 29.4%

RELATED: The best cities for recent grads to start their careers in

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Best cities for recent graduates

Cincinnati, Ohio 
Average Starting Annual Salary: $48,348
Unemployment Rate: 4.9 percent

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Raleigh, North Carolina
Average Starting Annual Salary: $48,609
Unemployment Rate: 4.8 percent

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Austin, Texas
Average Starting Annual Salary: $50,035
Unemployment Rate: 3.7 percent

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Washington, DC
Average Starting Annual Salary: $51,310
Unemployment Rate: 4.9 percent

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Minneapolis-St Paul, Minnesota
Average Starting Annual Salary: $49,950
Unemployment Rate: 4.1 percent

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Sioux Falls, South Dakota 
Average Starting Annual Salary: $43,849
Unemployment Rate: 3.9 percent

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Fargo, North Dakota
Average Starting Annual Salary: $44,163
Unemployment Rate: 3.0 percent

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Madison, Wisconsin
Average Starting Annual Salary: $51,163
Unemployment Rate: 3.9 percent 

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Atlanta, Georgia
Average Starting Annual Salary: $48,991
Unemployment Rate: 5.3 percent 

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Seattle, Washington 
Average Starting Annual Salary: $54,024
Unemployment Rate: 4.4 percent

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