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Worst Masters Programs For Jobs Today (Updated 2018)

Written by  Piyush Bhartiya, MBA

Published on Thu, February 15, 2018 12:36 PM   Updated on Mon, December 16, 2019 6:43 AM   5 mins read

In today’s world, every one wishes to pursue masters studies for better opportunities in career. Competition is everywhere and being on top is very necessary. Many pursue masters because higher education enables an individual to deepen his depth of knowledge in the field that can never be deemed futile. For a student, a masters degree is another opportunity to improve and open doors to specializations. It widens one’s career scopes. But there are some practical aspects that have to be taken into consideration. Before plunging into a scholastic venture you need to take care of certain things to make sure that you make it worth for the money you spend.

Of course, you need Interest, and passion to drive but besides all that pragmatism plays a crucial role in evaluating a Masters degree. Whether a Masters degree will broaden, or narrow, your opportunities should be determined so that your future is safe. Your decision today will determine your future tomorrow.

Worst Masters Degrees

In this article, we shall see those graduate programs that bring back little by the measure of rewards for the extra academic work, spent in getting a Masters. We have collected a list of such graduate programs so that you can choose wisely when it comes to selecting a masters program. Factoring in popularity that is the number of students interested,  the salary offered upon graduating with an MS, the percentage change in the salary expected from a Bachelor’s in the same field, and finally, the job prospects as a percentage change are the basis of this evaluation.

We have collected the data from various sources to give you this article for better evaluation of these masters program. If you genuinely have a passion for the field and the care for revenues is little to none, you can choose to ignore this article in total. How to study abroad for free? Read here to know 

Some of the Worst MS degrees with low Returns of Investment and Declining Job Prospects:

MS MajorMedian Salary (Age 25-29 years)Employment Change % from 2014 to 2024% Change in Salary from Bachelor’s
Communications, Mass Media and Journalism$67,000-8.50%24%
Film/Drama/Theater and Photographic Arts$60,0002%27%
Commercial Art and Graphic Design$63,0001.40%24%
Fine Arts$60,0003.10%22%
Visual and Performing Arts$56,0000.40%33%
Metallurgical Engineering$109,0001%11%
Criminology and Criminal Justice$71,000-0.70%31%
Advertising and Public Relations$65,0007.10%20%
Aerospace Engineering$112,000-2.30%24%
Electrical Engineering$112,0001%20%
Petroleum Engineering$128,0009.80%-6%
Anthropology and Archaeology$66,0003.80%35%
Education: Teaching All Levels$57,0005.80%36%
Human Resources and Personnel Management$75,0008.80%29%
Human Services and Social Work$54,00011.40%32%
Hospitality Management$69,0009%33%

Some Reasons Why an MS Might be Worth It

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  1. You want to seek out a Masters to gain a deeper insight, perhaps experience the field through research.
  2. You want to go beyond a Masters and follow your career into hardcore academia.
  3. There are better job prospects after an MS degree.
  4. Employers pay more as compared to Bachelors in the same field.
  5. You can get hired at a higher grade, increasing your chances of a quicker career growth.
  6. You want to use an MS degree to change the course of your career, perhaps even change it altogether.

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For a majority of the students what makes an MS worth it, maybe all, or a combination of the above factors. Contrary to what might you thought or say the general notion, though, an MS in some fields may, in fact, bring in quite a negative return on your investment. That is definitely not something you want to do. Basically, any Masters degree compulsorily requires two things that a student will consider as a limited resource – time and money. Not all MS degrees are not funded with a readily available teaching and a research assistantship like Ph.D. degrees often do.

It is, of course, expensive and with such a high price tag it becomes difficult for many to aimlessly walk into a graduate lecture hall. Two years is a big deal. The two years that you spend on pursuing the masters is a big chunk of time. These two years are the years that you must be spending on gaining your work experience. These two years must be spent wisely. Most STEM field MS degrees do have a good Return on investment. They have an ever-growing demand for graduates in the field. But in a field like Petroleum Engineering, it actually works the other way round. it has a negative salary impact, from a Bachelor’s to a Masters title change. In such fields, the on-the-job experience counts for far more stars than the extra merit letters on your resume. Masters in such a field will not do you good.

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Good luck and may you make the best choice for your career!As we had already mentioned before, the list is an assessment based on data gathered from multiple sources, all with possible different survey methods.  We do not intend to stop the individuals actually interested in pursuing an MS in those majors. This list should neither be considered neither a warning nor a beware signpost if you are passionate about pursuing a particular course. There also could be many other masters program that aren’t mentioned on the list but may deserve a mention nevertheless. We would love if you to share your thoughts in the comments below.

About the Author & Expert


Piyush Bhartiya

Author • MBA • 20 Years

Piyush values education and has studied from the top institutes of IIT Roorkee, IIM Bangalore, KTH Sweden and Tsinghua University in China. Post completing his MBA, he has worked with the world's # 1 consulting firm, The Boston Consulting Group and focused on building sales and marketing verticals for top MNCs and Indian business houses.

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