Home > Uncategorized > Anthropology & archaeology the worst college degrees in the U.S.?

Anthropology & archaeology the worst college degrees in the U.S.?

English: A vector image of a mortar board hat.A new, 11 October 2012, blog post by Jenna Goudreau of Forbes staff using data from the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University reports that anthropology and archaeology top the list of the worse college majors in economic terms.

Topping the list at No. 1, anthropology and archeology represent the worst choice of college major in economic terms. Recent college graduates of the major, those ages 22 to 26, can expect an unemployment rate of 10.5%, well above the national average. When they do land a job, the median salary is just $28,000, compared to a mechanical engineer’s initial earnings of $58,000.

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  1. October 30, 2012 at 8:59 pm | #1

    Do what you want to do and do it well.

  2. October 30, 2012 at 9:34 pm | #2

    While a decently-paying job is no doubt one goal of education, it is by no means the only one. Policy makers, lawmakers, civil servants, people who work in service to society…the list goes on…we need more than machanical engineers. Besides–who really says it’s so, a CEO, another engineer? What particular axe do they have to grind? Which program are they promoting?

  3. Colin
    October 31, 2012 at 5:51 am | #3

    This blog is the reason anthropology departments are closing (or slowly disappearing) at universities all across the nation! Its saddens me to think that one of the most important factors guiding college students is expected salaries… just another sign of the utter failures of our education system! I know that most older students studying anthropology get involved in the discipline because they are enamored by it, and are willing to forgoe wealth for passion, like me :)

  4. Janet Kerley
    October 31, 2012 at 1:29 pm | #4

    Perhaps the academic anthropologists and archaeologists currently teaching should give students a better understanding of the wide range of potential applications these degrees have in the current work environment. In the multicultural organizations performing multidisciplinary projects, workers with an anthropology/archaeology background are better equiped to understand and solve the issues necessary to get the work done. For example, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is promoting incorporation of safety culture into business and industry. However, few safety professionals (with their engineering/chemistry/biology/business degrees) really understand the basic concepts of ‘culture’ and how human beings adopt or integrate behaviors. And, archaeologists could step forward and provide a wealth of information and background in the area of ‘sustainable economic development’ in a wide range of areas. Anthropologists and archaeologists need to better demonstrate the revelence and potential contribution of these degrees in the current economiy…or they will become extinct.

  5. Cailin Murray
    November 2, 2012 at 6:31 pm | #5

    The purpose of a university education is to become educated. Anthropology undergraduates must seek advanced degrees to work in the field. However, they can hedge their bets by taking plenty of methods courses (including statistics), do internships, and market themselves based on their skills and experiences. I have a PhD, a good job, and while I will never be wealthy as an anthropologist, I “get” to go to work instead of “having” to go to work – I have enormous job satisfaction.

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