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Ballet Talk for Dancers

10 lowest paying college majors


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I read this article and it does not come with any warm fuzzies at all regarding the fine arts.


In fact, the degrees and represented careers listed are among the ones that I have come to regard most highly. This is the "stuff" that cares, consoles, edifies, energizes, and releases us as human beings. They are so sadly relegated to the depths of the overall rankings of cultural affirmation, although merely in terms of monetary gain.


(OK, I know dancers aren't in it for the money...)



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I think had the same data been collected 50 years ago, the results would have been essentially the same. I’ll bet that if the data is collected in 2060, again essentially the same. That’s just life.


I do find the inclusion of Spanish on the list a little weird as it seems a little narrow as a category and where there isn’t a direct link to a career as is the case with the other fields listed. But I do think the gist of the list gives something of a reasonably accurate picture related to careers in the arts. No one in any of the arts does it for the money. There will always be exceptions of course, people who wind up doing well financially, but in the main that isn’t to be.

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I find it rather disturbing that our culture is more concerned about money than fulfillment. Of course one must make a living, but beyond that, isn't it better to enjoy what you do even if it won't make you rich?

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I saw this article and thought yes there is some reality, but I work in the exhaulted fields of math and science and am surprised that biology majors aren't on there. There are few jobs, most are extremely boring, and do not pay well. Yet biology tends to be the second most popular major after psychology. If a high paying career is what we rank importance on, I agree with Hans we are in a sad state.

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This might seem odd but I was encouraged. The arts majors were not as low as I thought that they would be. I wonder how the numbers were constructed. Did they assume a certain salary for 52 weeks? I know many contracts are 36 weeks.

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Actually, the figures don't look that bad to me either (considering my own salary!) -- they are not as low as I thought. Based on recent articles of NYC companies and the Royal, their corps actually do well I think. Sure, considering where I live now, there's a difference in cost of living -- but this wasn't the case when I lived in the UK (and compared my salary to a corps dancer). I know that my salary is competitive/representative, with a few outliers.

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I have a feeling they negated the number of weeks also.

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Guest balletandsynchro

As far as Spanish is concerned, Spanish is good as a double major or to consider going into a different sort of grad school than pursuing a Masters or beyond in Spanish. I know that at least in California there are many, many more extremely qualified Spanish teachers at all levels including University level than there are jobs. But, this major can be parlayed into Law, Business etc. On another note, I thought the arts major's salaries were higher than I would have thought them to be. Still on the low side, but if it considers a 36 week contract it's better.

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I can vouch for the low pay of the Spanish major. It is similar to an English major. You have to have something else in mind otherwise you end up in academia and there is a lot of competition and the pay is not even great with a doctorate.


I think that the figures are skewed for music. I doubt that they are taking into consideration that of those that get the degree only about 1% end up making their livings from it! It is not a bad pay for that 1% but if they considered the salaries of ALL those that graduate with degrees in music and what they are earning from music related activities I think it would be quite low as many of them make nothing from music after graduation. But then there is no way to measure that.


I agree that of all of those majors listed they are things that people study because they really enjoy them or in the case of education and social work they have a vocation to help others.


I feel lucky to have studied what I did and have work now in what I like doing. It is a shame that money is the benchmark for everything, particularly because many people are working in jobs that they hate, and even if you make a lot of money at it, it doesn't always compensate for the 40 hours or more per week that you tolerate it or are emotionally/psychically drained from it.

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Grads with degrees in English would live in relative comfort if they taught English in other countries, especially if English were their first language. With graduate degree in English, a native speaker is almost a shoe-in for professorial positions in Asian countries (and probably in Latin American countries too).

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^ Well that's fine if one wants to move to a non-English speaking country, but many people do not!



Clearly, the point is moot for people who will not consider moving. I was not directing my comment to that segment, but to those who may be looking to opportunities out there....one never knows where a new path will lead to.

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One of my nieces has gone to France several times to teach English and is now living there, working on her graduate degree, and has a French boyfriend. My other niece, her sister, just spent several months in Thailand teaching English and is planning on going back once it settles down there. I also have a British friend who taught English in Japan and met her husband there (American Navy) years ago. And none of these people even have a degree in English.

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And the other sad thing is that getting that piece of paper cost them more than their average yearly salary.


College is not profitable for people unless they're choosing a career that requires that type of study- Lawyer, doctor, etc. It's very, very sad.

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Maybe true statistically speaking, but I still think it's all in how you sell yourself....

To be a good dancer is one thing, to be a good business person is another. Anybody could go bankrupt regardless of their profession, if they are not financially wise.

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