Journalism graduates regret their degree the most, while Computer Science folks love theirs the most

Akshata Kamath
Akshata KamathNov 16, 2022 | 08:00

Journalism graduates regret their degree the most, while Computer Science folks love theirs the most

Journalists aren't said to be the happiest when it comes to receiving ROI on their education.Photo: Getty Images

Zip Recruiter conducted a study in the US to understand the college degrees that most students were happy about and the degree that was most regretted in terms of return on their investment.

  • They found that students who studied journalism, sociology and liberal arts regretted their decision the most; while the students who opted for computer science and criminology were happy about their graduating subject because of the money they made in their jobs 
Photo: Getty Images

Now, as kids we are all asked to study well, work hard, get good grades, get into a job and make money. What we are usually not told is that studying well and getting good grades in college often gets us in financial debt.

If we are smart about it, our job can give us a return on investment that will help us recover these costs. But if not, the extravagant college costs can drown us in resentment for most of our lives. 

So, going forward, we might want to figure out a way to be smart about what we are studying and how much we spend on it.

Photo: Getty Images

What did the survey find? 

1. 44% of all current job seekers with college degrees in the US regret their college major choice. 
2. The happiest graduates have majored in computer and information sciences and criminology. 72% of students from these groups would choose the same major again if they had to do so today. 
3. The next set of slightly happier graduates come from quantitative fields like engineering, healthcare, business, and finance since these graduates get paid really well in the job market. 
4. The students who regret their majors the most are students who have studied journalism, sociology, and liberal arts.


What are the most regret-free degrees? Job seekers have witnessed that their job pay is extremely influenced by the college majors they choose. Since computer science graduates are in high demand across industries (like science, tech, consulting and management), they generally secure highly paid jobs and seem to be the happiest about their choice of subject.

This is followed by criminology, engineering, nursing, health and business administration. 

Among candidates who regret the major they graduated in, most wish they had taken computer science (13%) and business administration (11%). 

Photo: Zip Recruiter

Now, which ones do graduates regret the most?

Photo: Zip Recruiter

But why is this not surprising? Health and business majors translate into the highest-paying jobs. Therefore, the average annual wages are higher at the entry level and significantly greater over the course of a career as compared with liberal arts and humanities majors.

  • So, its not surprising that when people choose to work after studying liberal arts and their pay doesn't match that of doctors and investment bankers, there is a general disatisfaction that sets in. 
  • Also, grads who are happy about their field are earning 1.6 times more than those who would choose a different major. 

So, this might be a fair way to conclude: As cost of attending college shoots up, students are starting to look at returns on investment because what you study actually matters and influences your lifestyle. Though it's quite true that the better educated you are, the better your pay gets; we live in a world where literature and social work is not treated as ''important enough'' for a better pay.

Last updated: November 16, 2022 | 08:00
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