30 Degrees With the Worst Return on Investment

By Simi

It used to be that going to college was enough. Keep in mind, this was back when most people had union jobs and a whole lot of security in the work environment. With more people in the world and more competition than ever, you have to go to college to get a good job. Studies have shown that people who go to college will out-earn those who don’t by quite a lot.

You also have to choose the right courses to take. Your post-secondary education is pricey and the economy is questionable right now. This is leading people to question how they should best spend their time and money on education. Did you know that student loans have hit the $1 trillion mark? Graduates are having a harder time paying off their debts once they get out of school. Is it due to an education that simply won’t pay back?

There are some degrees that can jump-start your career quickly while others will require years of hard work. Your degree may help you earn more money and give you greater opportunities, but how much are you paying for it? If you consider that your education is an investment, you have to consider what the ROI of the degree you will have. Here are some of the college degrees that have been consistent in low returns of your hard work and money.

1. Sociology

Sociology is a fulfilling career for those who wish to help other people. The reality is though, if you follow this dream, you won’t have wealth. The jobs that most people get when they’re a sociology major include being a social worker, corrections officer or chemical dependency counselor.

A social worker is responsible for interviewing clients and their families. They coordinate programs and activities to help people with social and emotional needs. Other aspects of the job include crisis intervention for families. The complexities of this job can be taxing because you may want to help people with their life situations but it isn’t in your job description.

You may do what you can among the red tape that seems to go hand-in-hand with helping people with their social needs. Social workers also serve as a liaison between health care facilities and agencies within the government. You must have a bachelor’s degree and you’ll report to a manager. The main requirement to become a social worker is to have certification or licensing for your specific position.

The median annual social worker salary is $54,870. The full range is as low as $48,540 when you begin your career or are working for non-profit societies. The high-end of the spectrum is $61,499. With over 30 years of earning, you will make $2,779,195. The ROI of a degree from a public college is 73 percent while the ROI of a degree from a private college is 21 percent.

A corrections officer enforces rules and regulations in a prison, jail, or holding facility of another type. You will oversee prisoner conduct and ensure safety for everyone under your supervision. This means that you’ll supervise meals, recreation and work times. You document any violations and decide what disciplinary action to take. You only need to have a high school diploma to get this job.

So if this is what you end up doing after you graduate college, you’ll waste your money and time. The median annual Corrections Officer salary is $43,010. Higher paid officers will make nearly $50,000 while the entry-level officers will bring in about $38,000 per year. The 30-year earnings are $2,337,376. The ROI of a degree from a public college is 61 percent while the ROI of a degree from a private college is 18 percent.

A chemical dependency counselor position involves running individual, family, or group counseling for your patients. It will be one part of an overall recovery process in a chemical dependency program. You are a mediator for patients, their loved ones, medical staff, and any outside agency. If someone has been convicted of drinking and driving and part of their punishment is counseling for drinking, you may have to report to the courts.

This position requires a bachelor’s degree. Once you’re done your post-secondary education, you’ll need to get the Chemical Dependency Counsellor Certification by meeting the board’s requirements. This career choice has a median of $50,546. The high pay is $56,000 and the low pay is $44,000.

The 30-year earnings are $2,784,444. The ROI for a degree from a public college is 73 percent while the ROI of a degree from a private college is 21 percent.