This Study Says Grads in These Majors Are Most Satisfied With Their Jobs

Students converse inside the Marshall Student Center at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Fla. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

Going to college is a fun, exciting time.

Making big decisions in college that will potentially impact the rest of your life? Ehhh, not so much.

While choosing a college major may seem natural to some, it’s a source of stress for others. I mean, college is a huge investment. Those of us paying back student loan debt can attest to that.

You want to make the right choices, but at 18, 19 or 20, who’s to say your educational interests will continue to ring true or that the degree you get will provide secure employment? There’s no crystal ball, and that uncertainty sometimes leads to second guessing. surveyed over 1,000 college graduates to find out whether they felt satisfied with their major of choice or if they wished they would have made a different decision. Here’s what they found out.


Graduates who chose a major within the subject areas of science, math and technology were the most satisfied with their education decision, with accounting majors reporting the highest level of contentment.

In fact, the study found a good chunk of graduates who majored in other fields would have majored in science, math or technology if given a do-over.

  • Public and social services majors: 18%
  • Arts and humanities majors: 21%
  • Health and medicine majors: 23%
  • Business majors: 24%
  • Social sciences majors: 28%
  • Interdisciplinary studies majors: 28%

In contrast, those who studied arts and humanities reported much lower levels of satisfaction. Only 45.7% of English majors and 48.4% of fine arts majors were happy with their choices.

Follow the Money

When asked why they would have changed majors, the most popular reason was to go with a field that would provide more value. The next most popular reason to switch majors was a lack of jobs available in graduates’ chosen field.

Parental disapproval of a chosen major had the least impact on why college students would alter their field of study. Sorry mom and dad!

A Major’s Impact on Career Choices

Though you may drop thousands upon thousands to get a degree in a particular field of study, we all know that doesn’t guarantee you’ll end up employed in that same field.

Of those surveyed, 79% of graduates who studied health and medicine and 70% of those who studied business found employment in a related field after college.

On the other end of the spectrum, only 39% who studied arts and humanities and 38% who majored in interdisciplinary studies reported working in a related line of work after graduation.

It’s tough to make such a monumental decision in your late teens or early 20s that will have a major (pun intended) effect on your career, your lifetime earnings and essentially your way of life. But going forth into the unknown is all part of the journey.

Nicole Dow is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She changed her major from biology to print journalism during her freshman year of college.