Discover the College Majors That Students Wish They Had (or Hadn't) Chosen


Kate Sliunkova

AdmitYogi, Stanford MBA & MA in Education



3 min read

Discover the College Majors That Students Wish They Had (or Hadn't) Chosen

For years, your children were repeatedly asked, "What do you want to be when you grow up?"

When it came time to choose a field of study, it's reasonable to say they likely gave it some thought. However, as a 2019 ZipRecruiter poll reveals, some people still chose a major that they ended up regretting.

The poll included over 5,000 college grads who were actively seeking for work — and the top categories for "regret" weren't simply about money.

"This generation, more than any previous age before it, want employment with meaning and purpose," ZipRecruiter CEO Ian Siegel told CNBC in 2019.

So, which degrees were most likely to result in student guilt, and which were most likely to result in student satisfaction? Here's what the survey discovered. The complete results may be seen here.

5 of the most resented college majors

1. English and foreign language

According to ZipRecruiter, 42% of survey respondents with this major regretted their decision. Why? Reasons given included the field being "impractical" and having little work options.

2. Physical and biological sciences

According to poll respondents, it is difficult to get a job without an advanced degree in addition to their bachelor's, which explains why 35% regret their major. It is also common to need some kind of licensing.

3. Education

In principle, teaching the next generation sounds wonderful, yet 31% regret their decision. According to survey respondents, the industry has minimal income and job satisfaction, as well as restricted career prospects.

4. Law and social sciences

Approximately 29% of survey respondents regretted enrolling in this major. What are their justifications? "Too broad," "impractical," and it's too difficult to get work without more education.

5. Communications

According to ZipRecruiter, 27% of persons who studied this area regretted their decision. And why is this the case? "Too generic," you probably predicted.

5 majors with the fewest regrets

1. Computer science / mathematics

Only 12.78% of those polled regretted this important decision. The handful that did said that it was too stressful.

2. Business

"Too generic" was the most typical criticism leveled at this major. Nonetheless, just 15.5% of poll respondents said they planned to major in business in college.

3. Engineering

There's a lot to be said about STEM jobs these days, and engineering can now add "least regretted major" to its list of accomplishments. The most prevalent explanation given by the 15.91% of survey respondents who regretted their major was that "the greatest occupations demand postgraduate degrees."

4. Health administration and assisting

One of the five degrees that ZipRecruiter survey respondents regretted the least was involvement in the administrative side of health care. Nonetheless, 17.95% reported low work satisfaction in the field.

5. Medical sciences and technology

Studying health sciences, including health administration, apparently offers low work satisfaction, according to the 18.94% of survey respondents who regretted studying this in college.


While you shouldn’t let others’ regrets (or lack thereof) decide your college major, you should look to their satisfaction rates as an important piece of data worth considering. And hopefully, in doing so, you can avoid the mistakes of preceding generations of college students.

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