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Even though a college degree can give you the training to get into the job of your dreams, just remember that even though you may have a college degree that doesn’t necessarily mean that you will earn a lot of money. In fact, there are many college grads that have spent a lot on going to college and then they don’t end up making much. So if they have a lot of student loans it can be difficult for many to pay them off.

Starting Salary Degrees
Infographic by Keith HampsonView large image

Some low wage jobs according to 2010 data from PayScale shows that even with a bachelor’s degree, your wages may still not be high. For example, students in the following areas can’t expect to start out earning a lot or expect to earn much more over their career. For example, engineers and those in computer science tend to get high salaries while those in the following 10 fields can expect low salaries.

Social Work: although this is a challenging but rewarding career the salaries are not what bring people to this profession. They typically start with an annual salary of $33,400 and in their mid-career bring in $41,600.

Elementary Education: Elementary teachers are typically the lowest on the scale in comparison to junior high and high school teachers. But they do get the summers off. However, notice that specializing in elementary education instead of just earning an education degree means that you’re lower on the pay scale. Elementary Ed. majors start out at $33,000 annually and mid-career typically earn $42,400

Theology: People that study theology and choose that as their profession can’t expect to earn much money. They want to help people and they usually earn $34,800 and mid-career earn $51,500

Music: This is a great talent to have, plus they get to earn money for something that they love. Starting annual salaries are in the range of $34,000 and mid-career are $52,000.

Spanish: Knowing a language is great but having a degree in it doesn’t necessarily mean big money. Graduates in Spanish may expect to earn $35,000 as an annual starting salary and $52,600 half-way through their career.

Horticulture: This is a great career for people that want to use their creativity and want to work with plants and flowers in nurseries, or as florists. The salary starting is $37,200 and $53,400 mid-career.

Education: Teaching can be rewarding but comes with stress. However, there are a lot of opportunities available to educators. They can expect to earn around $36,200 and $54,100 mid-career.

Hospitality and Tourism: This sector took a hit with the economy but things are looking up. Although the salaries aren’t high and much is dependent on tips, there are a lot of perks that come with this job. Starting out in the industry may bring $37,000 and mid-career $54,300.

Fine Arts: The fine arts encompass a lot of different jobs but they can expect to earn about $35,800 starting off and $56,300 mid-career.

Drama: Although it can be difficult to make ends meet in this job, there are some that have actually made it. For example, Meryl Streep and Denzel Washington both have degrees in this job so they can be skewing the numbers upward but starting salaries are in the ballpark of $35,600 and mid-career is $56,600.

So here’s the dilemma: students are spending a lot for these degrees these days and not making much money after graduation, so are they really worth it? Well the honest truth is that it depends largely on the talent and drive of the individual student as well as how much money they have to take out in order to earn their degree. If they have to take out a lot of loans and they’ll be making these salaries then probably not, but if they can earn the degree without going much into debt then it probably is worth it. However, before making the decision, listen to the experts John Stossell interviews and then decide.

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