As a college student, you probably thought about majoring in business or communications or engineering, or something else broad. You might even have really shocked your parents by majoring in art or philosophy.
But Mom and Dad might have been really surprised to find out you were majoring in puppetry or bowling industry management.
Yet those majors do exist, along with other “weird” and specialized courses of study. These weird college majors, which are only offered at a few schools, can lead to very specialized jobs — and decent salaries, according to The Cheat Sheet.
Would you pick any of these weird majors?
Offered at only a couple schools, this major (and master’s-level program) can be extremely competitive, requiring not just an application but a portfolio and an audition.
Once you graduate, you can expect to earn around $40,000 a year. If you’re great, you could earn significantly more; Caroll Spinney, the man who has played “Big Bird” since 1969, earns more than $300,000 a year.
Bowling Industry Management
Apparently, running a bowling alley is more complicated than other forms of entertainment — you don’t see many universities offering Movie Theater Management.
Bowling alley managers earn between $39,000 and $56,000, according to CheatSheet. Bonus: You can finish this degree in two years.
The University of Arizona offers the country’s only degreed program for racetrack management, and in fact the program has two tracks: one for the business side of racetracks and the other that focuses on caring for horses.
Should you choose the latter, you’ll take classes like “Equine Nutrition and Management” and “Introduction to Horsemanship Programs.” This degree qualifies you to work at the more than 100 racetracks in the U.S. as well as at related businesses like state racing boards. Graduates earn an average of $41,000 yearly for entry-level jobs, and that number increases to $70,000 or more for those with at least 20 years’ experience.
Bonus: Mortuary Science
This major didn’t make the list and might not qualify as “weird” since many schools offer it, but people in the programs do say that others often regard them as weird.
Funeral directors often work long hours and have to deal with things that many find depressing or even repulsive, but job security is about as good as you can get and earn an average of $51,000 per year.
Want to see more weird college majors? Check out the full list on The Cheat Sheet.
Your Turn: Did you have a weird college major? What’s the weirdest major you’ve heard about?
Rachel Kaufman may or may not be two dozen hamsters masquerading as one human in a trench coat.