What college majors lead to underemployment?

Based on your major in college, do you feel underemployed today? Since you are an EE-Evaluation Engineering reader, probably not. According to a PayScale study, as reported in The Washington Post, less than 30% of electrical engineering majors now feel underemployed. Engineering majors fared well across disciplines, with civil and environmental engineers reporting being the least underemployed, with aerospace, computer, chemical, and mechanical engineers joining electrical engineers among the top 10 of the least underemployed.

As Christopher Ingraham, a self-confessed liberal arts major, reports in the Post, “STEM fields produced graduates with the least likelihood of underemployment. Engineering degrees accounted for six of the ten least underemployed majors. Law, physics, geology, and mathematics made up the remaining four.”

Unemployment is easy to define—underemployment less so. PayScale defines underemployment as “…being paid less than your market worth; toiling at a job that doesn't use your education, training, and skills; or just not logging enough hours to make ends meet.”

As for college majors who feel underemployed, criminal justice majors lead the list, followed by majors in business management and administration. As for the poor performance for business, Ingraham in the Post comments, “… in many cases, a simple bachelor's degree in business might not get you very far—a a more advanced degree like an MBA might be necessary….”

PayScale has a lot of information on employment—or the lack thereof. Millennials are most likely to say they are underemployed, but baby boomers are more likely to complain about pay. 48% of women complain of being underemployed, vs. 39% of men.

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