The Top Ten College Degrees of 2015

By: Ken Streater | Work | Career | Top Ten Lists

I just read a couple of articles on the ten worst college majors in the United States for 2015. One of the articles was in Forbes Magazine and the other was on the website, It was not hard to find articles on college degrees. There are over 300,000 webpages listed when you search Google for the “ten worst college degrees of 2015.”

The criteria for the worst degrees in these articles was employability and expected income. In other words, these reports looked at which degrees would be the least helpful to find work or to make money. Based on these articles, the ten worst college degrees (in no particular order) are:

1)      Anthropology

2)      Fine Arts

3)      Philosophy

4)      History

5)      Liberal Arts

6)      Film/Video

7)      Physical Education and Recreation

8)      Graphic Design

9)      Literature/English

10)   Music

Here is the irony in this: most of the people who have degrees in these study areas and who work in these fields are fulfilled. Those who obtain degrees driven solely by financial goals tend to be less satisfied. 

In order to create the list of the ten best college degrees I looked at criteria other than how much money you can make or what provides you with the highest likelihood of a job. I came up not with a list of subject areas or majors, but a list of what would likely make you happy and the world a better place. Consider these criteria as you choose what you want “to be.”

The top ten college majors and their related fields are the ones that make you:

1)      Curious

2)      Confident

3)      Engaged

4)      Open-minded

5)      Rewarded (on all levels: spiritual, emotional, physical, relational, and financial)

6)      Giving

7)      Grateful

8)      Energized

9)      Empowered

10)   Longing to learn more

And, to flip this entirely on its head, among the highest paid people in this country are successful:

1)      Athletes; see #7 of the worst college degrees

2)      Musicians; see #10

3)      Actors; see #6

And, people who win awards like the Nobel Peace Prize are often:

1)      Philosophers

2)      Anthropologists

3)      Community Leaders (often Liberal Arts students)

So, as you search for what education and career path to take, consider my top ten list. I am not saying that financial success is not important but I do offer that confident, engaged, giving, open-minded people who pursue what they are passionate about often end up satisfied in all areas of life, and are financially secure.