Gallup Poll Finds Business Majors Graduate to the Worst Careers

An Important Finding to Guide Students in Choosing Their Career-Paths

Eric Zuesse

In what many people might consider to be a shocking finding, the Gallup Poll reported, on Thursday, October 2nd, that America’s college and university graduates with “Business” degrees (including MBAs) are (1) more bored by their work, (2) unhappier, and (3) poorer, than are graduates with degrees in the other three major categories, which are:


“Social sciences/Education,” and

“Arts and Humanities.”

Here are the three categories of questions that were asked of 29,560 graduates in America, with B.A. or higher degrees:

1 (for measuring job-interest): “I am deeply interested in the work that I do.” (Agree or Disagree.)

2 (for measuring job-satisfaction): “I like [the work] I do every day,” and, “[At work] I learn or do something interesting every day.” (the two questions that are related to “Purpose Well-Being,” which Gallup uses internationally).

3 (for measuring job-pay): “I have enough money to do everything I want to do,” and, “In the last seven days, I have [not] worried about money.” (the two questions that are related to “Financial Well-Being,” which Gallup uses internationally).

Majors in the field of “Business” scored as the least-happy, in each of the three career-related categories of work-happiness. “Sciences/Engineering” scored at, or else tied for, the highest, in each of the three career-satisfaction categories (interest, satisfaction, and pay); but, the only really big difference that separated these four categories of careers from each other was the relatively big drop-off in each of these three satisfaction-measures, as was shown between “Business” majors on the one hand, versus the other three categories of majors on the other (those other three being more-closely grouped together, except for “Financial Well-Being,” where “Sciences/Engineering” was the clear stand-out, and the “Business” major was actually 1% higher than “Social sciences/Education,” which was 3% higher than “Arts and humanities”).

If anything is surprising about these poll-findings, it’s that: the consistent and substantial inferiority of the “Business” major, as compared to all others; and the consistent (and, regarding job-pay, the substantial) superiority of “Sciences/Engineering.”

This poll, of course, says nothing about an individual student’s particular areas of interest or areas of personal strengths and weaknesses, which ought also to be factored into the individual’s decisions as to which major should be pursued (if one isn’t oriented instead toward a technical field that doesn’t require any four-year degree at all). Obviously, any such career-path decision is, first and foremost, a decision about one’s own interests and abilities. However, after those are determined, consideration of this Gallup-poll’s findings should probably provide the remainder of a student’s guidance, regarding what would be the most-rational career-path to pursue, all things considered.


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010,  and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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  • jo6pac

    Free education, that’s mad they won’t
    have much money left over for Bombs and here in Amerika Bombs are the way to educate
    those nasty citizens of other nations keeping Amerikan corp. from their

  • Of course people with business degrees are less enamoured of their work. When we say ‘Business qualification’ what we really mean is a qualification in admin – or being a clerk. And no matter how that is dressed up in fancy job titles it is still basically about copying stuff from one place to another. All that’s changed since I left school in 1966 is that we used to copy from a column in one book to a column in another, now people copy stuff from column to column in spreadsheets.

  • They are fortunate to have jobs.

    Author “The Art of Debt Guerrilla Warfare, how to beat debt
    collectors when your back is against the wall.”

  • implicaverse .

    I think a business major is kind of like going into professional sports or acting. A handful make it big, the rest are scrounging for crumbs. Whereas with science and engineering, the business people who are in charge of companies have no clue who’s productive and who’s not, so they tend to give everyone a relatively high salary. Although the more math (whether or not it is necessary) you use, the higher your pay. If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance . . . .