African American College Students Tend to Concentrate in Majors That Lead to Low Pay

AfricanAmericanMajors_2016_web copyA new study by researchers at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., finds that although more African Americans are going to college in recent years, they tend to concentrate in majors that lead to lower-paying jobs.

The study found that only 6 percent of African Americans majored in pharmacy sciences, the bachelor’s degree which had the highest median earnings. But 12 percent of all African Americans with bachelor’s degrees majored in psychology or social work, one of the the lowest paying majors.

African Americans make up about 13 percent of all undergraduate students but they are 21 percent of the graduates in health and medical administration, 20 percent of the majors in human services, 19 percent in social work, and 17 percent in public administration. All of the these majors are among the lowest paying among the 137 bachelor’s degree programs analyzed in the study.

Anthony P. Carnevale, director of the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University and a co-author of the report, stated that “the low-paying majors that African Americans are concentrated in are of high social value but low economic value. Meaningful career planning before college can provide transparency about major choice and potentially prevent onerous debt and unemployment down the road.”

The full report, African Americans: College Majors and Earnings, may be downloaded by clicking here.


Comments (1)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Shawn Mc says:

    this was the issue all along but no one says anything about this,

    black leaders never talk about specifics of black folks and higher education or actual ways to create change, they rather say its all racism and nothing changes

Leave a Reply

Due to incidents of abuse and harassment that have occurred in the past, JBHE will not publish telephone numbers or email addresses of individuals in this space. If you want to contact someone in a particular article, we suggest you contact them directly not in an open forum.