Starting a successful career means getting the proper training, and while just about every college degree brings with it the promise of a better financial future, some of them are more valued than others. It's important to understand how the job market works, because some degrees teach very similar courses, but one might be more marketable than the other. If you're at all concerned with your career path, take a look at Yahoo! Education's list of four degrees with low marketability and their alternatives.
1) Economics – Economics sounds like a solid choice, but there are two main problems with the major: everyone's taking it, and most programs don't offer enough "hands-on" training. Understanding how to navigate the ebbs and flows of the economy sounds like a practical, in-demand skill to have, but when the job market is diluted by too many would-be economists and none of them have the necessary practical skills, high unemployment rates are inevitable.
Unemployment Rate: 10.4%
If you really want to work with money, a degree in Finance is the way to go in the current market. While Economics gives an idea of how the markets trend, Finance gives you the tools to analyze and manipulate the core financial decisions of a company.
Unemployment Rate: 5.9%
2) Political Science and Government – Political Science majors are interested in the legal comings and goings of the United States, but it's difficult to turn their passion into practical work experience. These degrees tend to focus more on theory and broad ideas rather than practical skills. You might be able to comprehend the broad political picture of the nation, but convincing an employer how that's useful to them is a hard sell.
Unemployment Rate: 11.1%
Alternative: Criminal Justice
There just isn't a lot of demand for Political Science majors these days, but Criminal Justice seems to be doing just find. This degree gives a ground-level perspective on the legal processes for the United States, and it seems as though there is a demand for these skills in the current job market.
Unemployment Rate: 8.9%
3) Information Systems – It used to be that many companies had a dire need for Information Systems specialists, but due to rapidly changing technology, this is no longer the case. While managing the informational flow of a company is still very important, the jobs themselves are changing. Builders are becoming designers, and the middle men are being cut.
Unemployment Rate: 14.7%
Alternative: Computer Science
Computer Science majors are rabidly sought after; in fact, it's hard for some companies to even find qualified candidates. This degree gives a much more fundamental understanding to how the digital world, including the internet, works. Coding is a practical skill, so even if you don't want a job managing company networks, you'll have the tools necessary to find work somewhere else.
Unemployment Rate: 8.7%
4) Architecture – It's easy to dream, and Architecture gives form and understanding to the towering and grand structures of an undergraduate's imagination. The problem is, in today's world designers and dreamers who can't double as builders and doers are seeing demand for their skills dry up. Recent market trends show a preference for builders who learn design later, and it's very difficult to do the opposite.
Unemployment Rate: 12.8%
Alternative: Civil Engineering
Civil Engineering lays on practical skills and gives undergrads the ability to implement their designs. Undergraduates in this major learn structural analysis, material strength, and environmental awareness. Furthermore, Civil Engineers learn how to build on a large scale which gives them a broad range of experience.
Unemployment Rate: 7.6%