Arts Majors Poorer, more Likely to Regret Major

May 23, 2013, 7:16 PM GMT+0

People who majored in the arts and humanities are most likely to regret their degree - and are most likely to report having a lower income

Hundreds of thousands of young Americans are graduating from university in May and early June. While it is widely acknowledged that there is a shortage of graduates in 'STEM' fields (science, technology, engineering and math) most will graduate having majored in the social sciences or arts and humanities.

The latest research from YouGov shows that 17% of Americans with at least some college education regret their major, while 72% do not regret it. There is a significant difference between majors, however, with 21% of arts and humanities students regretting their choice compared to 10% of science students.

A majority of Americans say that graduates today have it harder than they did when they graduated. 53% say that it is harder now for people leaving university, compared to 12% who say it is easier. This differs according to age, however, with people under the age of 30 being the only group saying that they faced similar conditions.

Students of the sciences are more likely to enjoy a higher income. 45% of respondents with an annual family income of over $100,000 studied a science, compared to 27% of respondents with a family income of less than $40,000.

A major push is being made by IT companies on Capital Hill to increase the number of visas for highly-skilled technical workers as part of the comprehensive immigration reform bill that just left the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Complete results are available here.

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