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8 College Degrees That Might be a Bad Investment Based on Pay

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There is no doubt that a college degree increases earning potential and broadens opportunities for individuals in today’s workforce.  However with the cost of education increasing faster than inflation and the economy remaining relatively weak, it makes sense to carefully consider which degrees are worth your time and money. When it comes to return on investment (ROI), not all degrees are considered equal.

Money isn’t everything. A lot of people work jobs with low pay and have great and fulfilling careers. But as the cost of education increases, it’s important to know if you’ll get your money’s worth.  This article highlights eight college degrees with poor ROI based on calculations from salary.com, which used recent College Board figures of $37,343 as an average cost of a four-year public liberal arts degree, and $121,930 for degrees earned at four-year private colleges.

Under each of the following degrees,  there will be listed three jobs commonly held by individuals with that degree, what he/she would make over the course of 30 years, and the ROI based on attending a public or private college:

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12 thoughts on “8 College Degrees That Might be a Bad Investment Based on Pay

  1. This is one of the reasons why I sometimes dislike black Americans. What a very discouraging article. Everyday black Americans cry that racism is high in America and that they are suffering because of their skin color which I think is a lie. Immigrants from India are moving to the states and have a median household income of 86k a year while African Americans have a household income of 38k. Do these people not also face racism? Also black people from other nations such as Jamaica are earning a whopping 49k a year and sub -saharan Africans earn 40k a year while black Americans sit down and complain how life is hard while these people step over you and move higher up the economic ladder irrespective of the fact that that you have been in the country longer than then. These are other BLACK people who are earning a lot of money yet you still sit and cry that being black is the reason why you are so poor? This article should stop discouraging people from getting degrees because either way, you would be way better off than working minimum wage.

  2. I think the article is indicating majors that are not worth pursuing. I tell my fellow sisters to not be afraid of the STEM majors or finance. You can't go wrong with a major in Mathematics, Actuarial Science or Finance. It will also help to learn two languages other than English (such as Spanish, Mandarin, Arabic, German, etc.).

  3. I think the article is indicating majors that are not worth pursuing. I tell my fellow sisters to not be afraid of the STEM majors or finance. You can't go wrong with a major in Mathematics, Actuarial Science or Finance. It will also help to learn two languages other than English (such as Spanish, Mandarin, Arabic, German, etc.).

  4. Dranoel Tnavidruts says:

    Well, what I think the article is saying, in terms of employment trajectory, is that your chances of being gainfully employed upon graduation are markedly diminished "if" you have one of these majors. In the bell of the curve, the article is on point, however, many African Americans are "first generation" college attendees who did not receive proper guidance and information about their choice of major. And, like most people, we all choose the "path of least resistance"… meaning, stay away from the hard majors (e.g., stem fields), and lean towards a liberal arts field (e.g., history), not realizing that the easier the major, the lesser the pay (usually, unless you got the hook-up).

    I will say that a college degree is not the panacea it used to be for black people. We were pushed into believing that if you could just get a college degree, you will be fine… now, more than ever before, this is simply not as realistic as it once was, resulting in the frustration expressed in this article. However, college isn't a requirement for a high paying job… I know some 6 figure sisters doing hair, I know automechanics with their own business well into the upper income brackets, and janitors making over half-a-million in their own company. I think the key to making money is to challenge yourself and move towards doing the "hard stuff" that most of us run away from. Whether it's your own business or a college degree, be prepared to push yourself towards achievement. Remember, if the "goal" doesn't scare the hell out of you, it ain't big enough! 😉 Len

  5. Brandon Gamble says:

    I make a whole lot more as a psychologist than what is listed here. They are low balling. Most Black folk should also run their own business as well. AThe list is worth considering but it is not completely accurate and is looking only at one metric.

  6. Will Waters says:

    Hey Paul I have a question for you! Why when Native Blacks Americans, come to your island or any third world country that you mentioned, we live like kings while you natives of that island or country, you live like peasants. But forget who made possible for you to ever come and live in or visit my country; my ancestors.

  7. Will Waters Not everyone one in those third world countries live like peasants. Lets not forget people like Usain Bolt or Sean Paul are actually wealthy celebrities who would not even in a million years mingle with anyone below their social status unless they are long time friends. And Black Americans can live like Kings temporarily while there because the leaders have screwed up the economy and thus it encourages a lot of people to leave. Essentially these people become immigrants and as they are used to poverty, they go to America on a mission and while they do complain at times they know for a fact that whatever they endure there is nothing compared to what they endure back home. As a result they work harder than black Americans, earn more and live far better mostly because they have more of a drive an ambition, rather than this victim culture black Americans seem to hold on to which hinders their success. I am not arguing with you, but the statistics speak for themselves. We are thankful for Black Americans for fighting for rights, but after receiving those rights, what are they actually doing to better themselves?

  8. Harold Carrington says:

    Some of these salaries are not so bad. I agree with the own your own business thing – there is no glass ceiling.

  9. Paul, I don't believe you understand what the post is about. It is simply an aid to your decision making on how you educate yourself so that you get a maximum return on your investment and I don't interprets it in any other way.

  10. If you love doing something money shouldn't be the main factor in if you are or if you aren't going to do it. The article is helpful but if you know that you have been blessed to have a talent then you should do it despite the financial pitfalls it may cause you temporarily.

  11. Why do people who emigrate to America always seem to knock down Black Americans. …never understood this….so sad that we can't be united and that you feel that you need to tear down one group to build up another….AA's are the reason why minority immigrants can come to America and be treated half way like a human being….I just don't understand where the anger stems from…SMH

  12. It's their attempt at being accepted by those in power… Crabs in a barrel…

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