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Financial Planning > College Planning

30 of the worst paying college majors of 2016

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Choosing a major can be difficult, and figuring out which are more likely to lead to financial well-being is worth considering. This is becoming more important with the cost of college skyrocketing, leaving graduates saddled with years of debt to pay off. has released its latest list of majors and the salaries graduates can expect as they start out and later in their careers. Science and engineering studies dominate the top of the list.

The degrees at the bottom of the list are heavy on social occupations and thin when it comes to the sciences. It must be tough for anyone who aspires to help families and children to realize they will be hard pressed to earn a decent buck.

Still, finding the right career is about more than financial concerns. Finding the major and then occupation that suits your skills and interests is important. We think it’s better to know what to expect than take blind leap of faith into the future.

(Check out 30 Best Paying College Majors: 2016 on ThinkAdvisor.)

The rankings below are based on data collected by PayScale from 1,063 universities and include graduates with bachelor’s degrees in 319 disciplines. The universities surveyed include 89% of U.S. schools with an enrollment of more than 5,000 and 64% of schools with enrollment over 1,000.

Take a look at the 30 Worst Paying College Majors for 2016:

30. Family & Consumer Science

Starting Salary: $35,800

Mid-Career Salary: $54,000 (294th)

29. Graphic Design, Illustration

Starting Salary: $35,700

Mid-Career Salary: $61,800 (231st)

28. Special Education

Starting Salary: $35,500

Mid-Career Salary: $47,800 (309th)

26 (tie). Horticulture

Starting Salary: $35,400

Mid-Career Salary: $49,400 (305th)

26 (tie). Culinary Arts & Food Service Management

Starting Salary: $35,400

Mid-Career Salary: $53,000 (296th)

25. Exercise Science

Starting Salary: $35,200

Mid-Career Salary: $56,000 (286th, tie)

24. Psychology & Sociology

Starting Salary: $35,100

Mid-Career Salary: $54,600 (292nd)

21 (tie). Secondary English Teacher Education

Salary: $35,000

Mid-Career Salary: $63,400 (217th)

21 (tie). Exercise & Sports Science

Salary: $35,000

Mid-Career Salary: $56,400 (279th, tie)

21 (tie). Culinary Arts

Salary: $35,000

Mid-Career Salary: $51,900 (298th)

20. Biblical Studies

Starting Salary: $34,900

Mid-Career Salary: $45,500 (310th)

19. Broadcast Communication

Starting Salary: $34,800

Mid-Career Salary: $66,200 (201st)

17 (tie). Human Development & Family Studies

Starting Salary: $34,700

Mid-Career Salary: $48,500 (306th)

17 (tie). Animal Science

Starting Salary: $34,700

Mid-Career Salary: $57,000 (274th)

16. Health Administration

Starting Salary: $34,600

Mid-Career Salary: $56,100 (284th, tie)

15. Pastoral Ministry

Starting Salary: $34,500

Mid-Career Salary: $49,600 (303rd, tie)

13 (tie). Music Teacher Education

Starting Salary: $34,300

Mid-Career Salary: $53,100 (295th)

13 (tie). Elementary Education

Starting Salary: $34,300

Mid-Career Salary: $45,500 (312th)

10 (tie). Bible Studies & Theology

Starting Salary: $33,800

Mid-Career Salary: $50,400 (302nd)

9. Art Teacher Education

Starting Salary: $33,800

Mid-Career Salary: $50,600 (300th, tie)

8. Culinary Arts & Culinary Management

Starting Salary: $33,600

Mid-Career Salary: $56,000 (286th, tie)

7. Social Work

Starting Salary: $33,200

Mid-Career Salary: $45,700 (311th)

6. Early Childhood & Elementary Education

Starting Salary: $32,900

Mid-Career Salary: $42,300 (315th)

5. Counseling

Starting Salary: $32,300

Mid-Career Salary: $40,900 (316thth)

4. Youth Ministry

Starting Salary: $32,200

Mid-Career Salary: $45,400 (313h)

3. Child Development

Starting Salary: $31,500

Mid-Career Salary: $39,600 (317th, tie)

2. Child & Family Studies

Starting Salary: $30,900

Mid-Career Salary: $39,600 (317th, tie)

1. Early Childhood Education

Starting Salary: $30,300

Mid-Career Salary: $38,000 (319th)

See also:

6 best colleges for insurance majors

529 plans vs. life insurance: 7 questions to ask clients

Student debt is eating into the household budget

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