The Most Regrettable College Majors: A Comprehensive Poll Analysis

Imagine spending years in college studying a subject, only to realize after graduating that it’s not what you wanted or needed for your career.

This is a regret that 44% of college graduates share, according to a ZipRecruiter survey.

Choosing the right major is not just a matter of personal interest; it’s a decision that can have significant implications for your future financial success.

College is a big and time-consuming decision for many of us. And while a degree often seems like a ticket to higher earnings, not all fields of study lead to the same financial rewards.

If you’re leaning towards science, technology, engineering, math (STEM), health, or business, the financial payoff is generally higher.

On the other hand, majors such as journalism, sociology, and liberal arts may not provide the same level of financial success.

The Most Regretted College Majors: A Snapshot from Job Seekers

In a poll of more than 1,500 job seekers, participants were asked to reflect on their choices and respond to one of two options:

Option 1. “I would choose the same major again,” or Option 2. “I would choose a different major.”

Below is the list of the ten college majors most regretted according to the poll:


Source: ZipRecruiter’s monthly survey of 1,500 job seekers published in November 2022

Why Journalism Might be The Most Regretted Major:

In an era where information is at our fingertips, one might expect journalism to be a thriving profession. However, this survey paints a different picture, indicating it’s less esteemed than anticipated. 

The field of journalism has undergone a major shift due to the rise of digital media, resulting in intense competition and a decline in traditional journalism roles. Furthermore, a growing public perception that journalism can be biased has led to less job stability and often lower financial rewards. 

Many people enter the field of journalism with idealistic goals and high aspirations, envisioning a career devoted to impartial reporting and uncovering the truth. However, they soon face the daily grind, editorial pressures, and a shift towards opinion-based reporting, leading to dissatisfaction. 

Lastly, the specialized skills taught in journalism programs may not always be easily transferable to other fields, further limiting career flexibility. Moreover, since success in journalism doesn’t necessarily require a degree in the field, some graduates may feel that their investment in education was unnecessary, contributing to a sense of regret.

So, What’s the Right Path?

There’s no easy answer, and the decision will vary from person to person. Here’s what you can do to make the best choice:

  1. Assess Your Interests: What do you love to do? What are you good at? Aligning your studies with your passions can lead to a more fulfilling career.
  2. Consider the Job Market: Look at the industries that are growing. What are they looking for in employees? This can guide your educational choices.
  3. Think About Alternatives: Four-year degrees aren’t the only option. Explore certifications, apprenticeships, or online courses that might better fit you.
  4. Talk to Professionals in the Field: Sometimes, a chat with someone who’s been there can provide valuable insights into what you should study.

Deciding whether to pursue a four-year degree is a big decision, and it requires careful consideration of many factors. The world is changing, and education is no exception. What worked for previous generations might not be the best path for you.

In the end, the right educational path is the one that aligns with your goals, interests, and the reality of today’s job market.

Keep an open mind, do your research, and remember that your unique path to success might look different from someone else’s.

About The Author

Leave a Reply