In assembling this study, Bankrate consulted the most recent data available from the U.S. Census and used weighted data to see what employment status and income prospects were like in the past 12 months for a study for people 162 degrees. Only majors with labor forces of at least 15,000 were included, and the study also took into account how many of these graduates went on to obtain master’s and doctoral degrees.
Unsurprisingly, the top 10 spots were taken by business, science, and math degrees. But the most valuable major was actuarial science. It may not get as much lip service as tech degrees do these days, but people with this major make an average salary of over $100,000 a year -- without needing an advanced degree. The same can't be said for other top majors. Graduates often go on to jobs like budget analyst, cost estimator, and statistician. Those gigs may not sound terribly sexy, but having a job objectively is, so it'll balance out.
Miscellaneous fine arts -- defined here as "basically any fine arts degree that doesn’t fit cleanly in the art history, music, drama and theater or other major buckets" -- landed at the bottom slot. Anyone is taking this degree who thinks job prospects are great should find a new advisor and also consider the 9.1% employment rate. That being said, there are some jobs to be had here, and graduates going on to be art teachers, music contractors, craft artists, and illustrators. But it's definitely not a safe bet and the average income is $40,855. In fact, all fine arts degree were in the bottom of this ranking. You might, however, retain a sense of dignity, which is supposedly priceless.
We're not saying you should immediately switch to actuarial science. We're just suggesting you make an informed decision (and ideally a whole bunch of money).