Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
According to an analysis by the New York Federal Reserve, there are six college degrees that earn graduates an average of $40,000 or less five years after graduation.
The highest salaries usually belong to graduates of technical and science faculties. Photography by Barry Austin
The analysis, published in February, took into account the earnings of college graduates and examined the labor market according to the field of study. Data from the New York Federal Reserve analyzed the median salaries of graduates aged 22 to 27 in 2021.
The New York Federal Reserve found the six lowest-paying majors to be in the social sciences and liberal arts. By comparison, all of the highest-paying majors were in STEM industries, which include careers in science, technology, engineering, and math. It is worth noting that chemical engineers ranked first for high salaries, with a median salary of $75,000 five years after graduation.
See how much the lowest-paid majors earn according to data from the New York Fed. Underemployment – defined in the report as working in jobs that usually don’t require a college degree – and unemployment rates for each field are also common.
Participants are ranked from highest average salary to lowest.
6. Performing arts
The performing arts may include dance, music, and theater. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi
Average salary, early career: $39,000
Unemployment rate: 7.6%
Underemployment rate: 64%
People who majored in the performing arts earned an average of $62,000 as a mid-level employee in 2021, according to the New York Federal Reserve.
According to Indeed, a U.S. job website, the careers graduates in performing arts take include choreography, which earns the national average salary of $28,289 a year. At the higher end of the market, creative directors earn an average national salary of $75,687 per year.
5. Leisure and hospitality
The leisure and hospitality industry includes hotels, food and beverage, and tourism. Robert Kneschke/Shutterstock
Average salary, early career: $38,000
Unemployment rate: 5.3%
Underemployment rate: 58.6%
Recreation and hospitality graduates can expect a mid-career salary of $60,000, according to the New York Federal Reserve.
Some of the jobs taken by graduates include an assistant general manager who pays an average of $43,943 a year and a regional manager who pays an average of $52,669 a year at Indeed.
Psychology can be a broad field, with professions ranging from psychiatry to business. getty
Average salary, early career: $37,400
Unemployment rate: 4.7%
Underemployment rate: 47.6%
Psychology graduates can expect to earn $65,000 at mid-career, according to the New York Federal Reserve.
Some of the careers psychology graduates take include therapy, which pays a national average of $67,600 a year, and psychiatry, which pays a national average of $219,482 a year at Indeed.
According to Niche, psychology was the third most popular major among high school graduates in 2022.
3. Social services
Social services often include counseling for children and families. Richard Ross / Juveniles in Justice
Average salary, early career: $37,000
Unemployment rate: 3%
Underemployment rate: 27.7%
According to the New York Federal Reserve, social service graduates earn $52,000 at mid-career.
Graduates with degrees in social services typically begin their careers in areas such as community service, which is a national average of $42,103 per year per Indeed. Higher-end therapists earn an average annual salary of $75,019.
2. Family and Consumer Sciences
Careers in family and consumer science range from nutrition to family services. Claire Price/Insider
Average salary, early career: $37,000
Unemployment rate: 8.9%
Underemployment rate: 47.9%
According to the New York Federal Reserve, family and consumer science graduates earn $60,000 at mid-career.
Some of the jobs that family and consumer science graduates go into include a social worker who pays an average of $28,259 a year, and a nutritionist who pays a national average of $41,309 a year on Indeed.
1. Theology and religion
Some of the jobs that graduates of theology and religion take up include pastor and missionary. Media Square One.
Average salary, early career: $36,000
Unemployment rate: 3.6%
Underemployment rate: 35.5%
Mid-career Theology and Religion graduates earn an average of $52,000 a year according to the New York Federal Reserve.
Some theology graduates become pastors, a role that earns an average salary of $42,936 per year, and missionaries that earn an average of $82,268 per year according to Indeed.