The Most Regretted College Majors

The Most Regretted College Majors
The Most Regretted College Majors

A college major is a student’s most important decision before university. It’s no secret that some majors lead to better job prospects than others. However, not everyone chooses their major with this in mind.

Many students make the mistake of selecting a major without considering its long-term career potential. As a result, they find themselves with unfulfilling jobs and mounting student debt. According to recent studies, specific majors lead to more regret than others among graduates. These “regretted” majors are often associated with lower earnings and limited job opportunities.

The most regretted college majors include fine arts, philosophy, sociology, and drama/theatre arts. Graduates in these fields often struggle to find jobs related to their degree or earn far less than their peers who studied more lucrative subjects like engineering or finance.


The Most Regretted College Majors


Factors Behind Regretted College Majors

It’s essential to understand the reasons behind dissatisfaction with specific college majors. Some common factors include:

  • Poor job prospects: Difficulty finding employment in a relevant field can lead to dissatisfaction. Low earning potential: Some majors may not provide substantial income compared to others.
  • Lack of passion: Students may choose a major without fully understanding their interests, leading to a mismatch between their studies and desires.
  • Misaligned expectations: Students may enter a field with unrealistic expectations, only to face disappointment when reality doesn’t match their dreams.


Top Regretted Majors and Their Earnings

According to studies and surveys, the following majors are among the most regretted by students:


  • Average starting salary: $35,000
  • Mid-career pay: $58,000
  • Critical reasons for regret: Declining job market, lower-than-expected salaries, and limited opportunities for career advancement.


Computer Science:

  • Average starting salary: $65,000
  • Mid-career salary: $105,000
  • Critical reasons for regret: High levels of competition, burnout, and the rapidly changing landscape of the tech industry.



  • Average starting salary: $36,000
  • Mid-career salary: $60,000
  • Critical reasons for regret: Limited job opportunities without an advanced degree, lower earning potential, and unfulfilled expectations.


English Literature

  • Average starting salary: $33,000
  • Mid-career salary: $57,000
  • Critical reasons for regret: Limited job prospects, lack of practical skills, and low earning potential.


Highest Earning Majors

For those seeking more financially rewarding careers, consider the following majors with higher earning potential:


Petroleum Engineering

  • Average starting salary: $94,000
  • Mid-career pay: $175,000



  • Average starting salary: $89,000
  • Mid-career pay: $116,000


Mathematics and Computer Science

  • Average starting salary: $70,000
  • Mid-career salary: $110,000


Aerospace Engineering

  • Average starting salary: $65,000
  • Mid-career salary: $107,000


Optimizing Your Career Path

To minimize the risk of regretting your college major, consider the following strategies:

  • Research and self-assessment: Before selecting a major, research the job market, salary potential, and industry trends. Assess your interests, strengths, and long-term goals to identify a major that aligns with your aspirations.
  • Job shadowing and internships: Gain hands-on experience through internships, job shadowing, or part-time jobs to determine if a particular field fits you.
  • Networking: Connect with professionals in your chosen field to gain insights and advice about the industry, job opportunities, and potential challenges.
  • Skill development: Develop relevant skills, such as problem-solving, communication, and technical abilities, to enhance employability and adaptability in the job market.
  • Consider double majors or minors: Pursuing a double major or minor can broaden your knowledge and skills, making you more competitive in the job market and providing alternative career options.



Selecting the right college major is a crucial decision with long-term implications for your career and financial well-being. By carefully considering your interests, researching potential career paths, and gaining relevant experience,

You can avoid the pitfalls of regretted college majors and maximize your chances of success in the job market. Remember, it’s never too late to pivot your career or pursue further education to align your goals and passions with your chosen profession.