CNBC make it 2024-03-17 02:00:51


The 16 worst-paying college majors, five years after graduation

Students who major in liberal arts, performing arts and theology earn the lowest salaries within five years of graduating from college, a recent New York Federal Reserve analysis reveals.

All three majors made a median annual income of $38,000, the lowest out of the 75 majors in the study. Other low-paying majors include leisure and hospitality, history, fine arts and psychology, all of which made $40,000 or less per year.

For context, that’s slightly less than the U.S. personal income median of $40,480 as of 2022, per the latest data available from the U.S. Census.

Here’s a look at what the lowest-paying majors earn early in their careers.

With liberal arts degrees, graduates tend to get paid less overall, for various reasons. For one, their skills may not be directly related to generating revenue, even if their vocation is a benefit to society.

Or, it can be a case of too few well-paying jobs compared with the number of graduates each year, as is the case for fine arts degrees. As such, the lack of demand can drive down wages.

Education majors tend to be paid less, as well. While teachers have good job security, summers off and pensions, they’re usually paid by state governments, which have lagged in keeping wages commensurate with inflation. In recent years, the “teacher pay penalty” has gotten worse, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

Unfortunately for teachers, they don’t fare much better later in their careers. When looking at “mid-career” graduates — those ages 35 to 45 — education majors are the worst paid among all majors.

Here’s a look at the mid-career rankings.

Early childhood education majors in the middle of their careers earn the least out of all majors. With a median annual income of $48,000, they only make $8,000 more than they do right after graduation.

In contrast, the highest-paid majors for both early and mid-career earners tend to be in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, otherwise known as STEM fields. 

Engineers earn the highest median income right after college, with computer engineers ranked first at $80,000 per year. Their pay grows to $133,000 by the time they’ve reached the ages of 35 to 45, the highest of all majors.

It’s worth mentioning that mid-career graduates all make more than the U.S. personal income median of $40,480. The median pay for all mid-career majors is $75,500, according to the New York Fed.

Data for this annual study was compiled from U.S. Census data from 2022, the most recent available. The study excludes majors currently enrolled in school and is limited to a working-age population of those ages 25 to 65 who work full-time, with a bachelor’s degree or higher.

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I’ve studied 100-year-olds and longevity habits for 20 years: What I eat every day

When it comes to extending your lifespan, it’s crucial to be cognizant about the foods you put in your body.

Dan Buettner has made it his life’s work to research the world’s longest-living people. The 63-year-old coined the term “blue zones,” which refers to the places around the globe where residents’ lifespans exceed the average life expectancy.

His research covered a variety of factors, including diet. But what does Buettner himself eat after a lifetime of learning about longevity?

“I’ve spent 20 years studying the longest-lived people, and I know what they do as populations to live a long time,” he tells CNBC Make It. “But I’m not one of these obsessed Silicon Valley millionaires who is sacrificing their enjoyment of daily living to see if we can tack some years on the end.”

These are the diet decisions that Buettner, who recently released a line of frozen meals based on popular blue zone recipes, makes every day to stay healthy as he ages.

1. Eating within a 10- to 12-hour window

“I know that the longest-lived people are eating most of their calories in about a 10- or 12-hour window,” Buettner says. “And so I usually have just two meals a day.”

Buettner has his first meal each day around 11 a.m. and his second meal at about 7 p.m.

“Miami nightlife kind of forces me out,” the Florida resident says. “It’s not exactly blue zone that way, so I tend to have breakfast at about 11.”

2. Having beans for breakfast and dinner

From his research, Buettner has learned that people who eat a cup of beans a day tend to live about four years longer than those who don’t.

“I always get my beans and try [to include them in] both meals,” he says. “I start my day with Sardinian minestrone, which has three kinds of beans and about five kinds of vegetables.”

He also adds capsaicin-rich red pepper flakes, which can help to increase metabolism. Buettner tosses in some oregano and rosemary to help lower inflammation and get more antioxidants.

3. Going out to eat often

Though Buettner acknowledges that going out for dinner nearly every night doesn’t align with a longevity diet, it’s a part of his life that he doesn’t feel a need to change.

“It’s hard to eat really healthy when you go out, no matter where you go,” he says. “I try to eat plant-based.”

When looking at a restaurant menu, he tends to gravitate toward the side dishes. A few of his favorite side dishes include:

  • Cannellini beans
  • Spinach
  • Roasted potatoes

He also enjoys going to Indian restaurants where he’s able to find a lot of plant-based options like red or green curry tofu and chickpeas.

“These are as satisfying as eating meat, but without any of the saturated fats,” Buettner says.

4. ‘Don’t eat meat at all’

“I’m about 98% plant based,” he says. “I don’t eat meat at all. And people in blue zones did eat a little bit of meat.”

While the average American eats about 220 pounds of meat per year, blue zone residents only eat around 20 pounds of meat annually. Though he refrains from eating meat himself, Buettner says it’s fine in moderation.

“I think a longevity diet probably has room for meat once a week or so without too much harm,” he says.

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If you and your partner use any of these 5 phrases regularly, your relationship is stronger than most

Speaking to your partner with respect and appreciation is important, especially in times of conflict.

The most successful couples, according to psychologists, regularly express devotion, understanding, and contrition.

Here are the five phrases that couples who have a strong connection use most, according to experts.

1. “Thank you.”

John and Julie Gottman are psychologists who have studied more than 40,000 couples in search of answering the question: What makes love last?

The one phrase they say all successful couples use often is “thank you.”

“A thriving relationship requires an enthusiastic culture of appreciation, where we’re as good at noticing the things our partners are doing right as we are at noticing what they’re doing wrong,” they wrote for CNBC Make It.

This is especially true for small, everyday acts, they say.

“Tell them why that small thing is a big deal to you: ‘Thank you for making the coffee every morning. I love waking up to the smell of it and the sounds of you in the kitchen. It just makes me start the day off right,’” they say.

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2. “Help me understand this.”

Harvard psychologist Cortney Warren says successful couples don’t avoid conflict, they just better navigate it.

We often assume we know what our partner is saying when in reality they might be expressing something more nuanced or totally different.

“If your partner reacts to a situation in a way that you don’t understand, telling them that you want to know them better is key to resolving conflict and bonding at a deeper level,” Warren wrote for CNBC Make It.

3. “I can forgive you. Can you forgive me?”

When you’re in the heat of an argument or at the end of one it can be hard to express forgiveness. Do it anyways, Warren says.

“Studies have shown that couples who practice forgiveness are more likely to enjoy longer, more satisfying relationships,” she says.

4. “I am committed to you.”

“Being in a relationship is a choice,” Warren says. “Reassuring your partner that you’re still choosing to be with them and to work through challenges will help create a sense of safety and stability.”

This might seem obvious, but communicating your promise to one another can help you and your partner feel validated.

5. “I like you.”

“The healthiest couples don’t just love each other, they like each other, too,” Warren says. “Loving someone is an intense feeling of affection; liking is about seeing them for who they are and acknowledging the attributes you enjoy about them.”

Even if you and your partner aren’t arguing, remind them that you like them.

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Don’t use these phrases in a job interview, they are ‘major red flags,’ says ex-Google recruiter

There are several tactics you can employ to impress a prospective employer during a job interview.

Tell your interviewer what excites you about the role, for example. This shows you’re a passionate person who is genuinely interested in the opportunity. Ask what problem you can solve for them on day one to start setting yourself up for success if you get hired. Nod and smile while the interviewer is speaking to show you’re confident and capable.

There are, of course, a few behaviors you’ll want to avoid, such as phrases that could turn your interviewer off. Some are “major red flags,” says Nolan Church, former recruiter at Google and CEO of salary data company FairComp.

Here’s what Church advises jobseekers to avoid saying.

‘I work too hard’ or ‘I’m a perfectionist’

To begin with, when an interviewer asks what you can improve on, don’t use phrases that make it sound like you think you have nothing to learn. These can be phrases like “I work too hard” or “I’m a perfectionist,” says Church. They’re framed as character flaws when, really, they’re compliments.

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When you do, the perception is that “you are full of s—,” he says. “You are inauthentic.” They could think you’re either not being honest about who you are as a person or you genuinely think you can’t get better as a worker.

Remember, “I’m not hiring you to be perfect,” he says. “I’m hiring you to grow with us.” Instead of these empty phrases, Church recommends giving an example of a mistake you made, what you learned from it and how you improved going forward.

‘Anything that transfers blame’ is a turn off

Don’t say anything negative about people you’ve worked with.

Whether it’s a former colleague, manager or company, “anything that transfers blame from you to someone else” sounds bad, says Church.

“The people you want to work with take full ownership and accountability” of what they’ve done in the past, he says, even if you messed up. Taking responsibility indicates you’re humble enough to admit you’re not perfect and that you’re willing to learn from your mistakes and get better.

“You want to work with people who have the self-awareness to know when they were wrong and to update their own mental models to fix it,” he says.

‘I don’t know’

Finally, avoid answering questions with “I don’t know.”

When he hears that, Church thinks, “okay, so, like, conversation’s over? You’re not going to solve these problems?” he says.

Especially as it pertains to young people just starting their careers, it’s possible you don’t have a lot experience or anecdotes to draw from and give concrete examples of what you’ve been able to accomplish. In those scenarios, “it’s okay to say, ‘I don’t know, but here’s how I’d figure it out,’” he says. Give some examples of how you’d tackle the problem hypothetically to show you’d be proactive in moving forward.

Ultimately, if you get the job, “we’re paying you to go solve this problem” they’re presenting, he says. Even in the interview, you’ll have to prove that you can do that.

Want to land your dream job in 2024? Take CNBC’s new online course How to Ace Your Job Interview to learn what hiring managers are really looking for, body language techniques, what to say and not to say, and the best way to talk about pay. CNBC Make It readers can save 25% with discount code 25OFF.

3 red flags recruiters look out for in job candidates: They’re how you ‘get blacklisted’

A majority of people, 95%, intend to look for a new job this year, according to a January 2024 survey by jobsite Monster. And many anticipate it will be challenging. More than half, 68% say they think it will be difficult to find one given the state of the economy.

While finding work opportunities can be challenging, there are ways to conduct yourself that could make doing so even harder.

“There’s something called validation seeking behavior, aka desperation,” says Lindsay Mustain, a former Amazon recruiter and current CEO of career coaching company Talent Paradigm. She adds that “it’s that ‘pick me’ energy that actually repels the opportunity.”

Here’s how to avoid giving it off.

Don’t apply to a company over and over

First, avoid applying to jobs in the company over and over again, especially in a short period of time.

If Mustain sees that “you’ve applied 20 times in the last two years and we’ve never hired you once,” she says, that’s a red flag. She immediately thinks, “something’s wrong with that candidate for them to have not been hired by this point.”

DON’T MISS: The ultimate guide to acing your interview and landing your dream job

Regardless of how much of a fit you might be for the job, a recruiter’s likely not going to take the time to investigate your candidacy further.

“This is how you can kind of get blacklisted,” she says. Try to limit your internal applications to a maximum of five roles that you closely align with in the company.

Don’t use LinkedIn’s ‘open to work’ banner

Another red flag for a recruiter: the “open to work” banner on LinkedIn.

Just by putting up that one signal on the site, “we already know that you need something,” says Mustain. It means that you might not be as picky when it comes to your job opportunities, that you might not be moving your career forward in a measured way that helps you build skills and get better.

“It reduces the appearance of being a high caliber candidate,” she says. Plus, it changes the dynamic in a conversation with a hiring manager. Now, they’re not trying to convince you of a great job opportunity because they want you at the company. Instead, you’re trying to convince them to consider you.

Nolan Church, CEO of talent marketplace Continuum and ex-Google recruiter, agrees. Using the banner “actually feels to a hiring manager like desperation,” he previously told CNBC Make It.

“It’s kind of like asking for a handout on the corner,” says Mustain.

Don’t show up ‘very wounded and hurt’ on social media

Finally, if you’re unemployed, don’t post your unemployment status on social media, especially if you’re inclined to do so from a place of hurt. Mustain gives the example of a post like the following:

“I just got laid off and I have two kids at home and I really need another job, like, as soon as possible. So if you could please introduce me to every person that you know that has a possible opening, I would be so grateful.”

Though sad and a cause for sympathy, people who post like statuses are “showing up very wounded and hurt,” she says. They’re “bleeding out on social media.” Ultimately, they’re showing a weakness in a similar way to people who include the “open to work” banner on their LinkedIn profiles. It’s clear they need something.

A post like that “repels people because they’re not coming from a place of strength,” says Mustain.

Instead, if you’ve been laid off and want to signal to the world that you’re looking for new opportunities, try framing the situation as a new beginning or a chance for growth and sharing concrete examples of your past contributions and successes. You can also share what you’ve learned and how your experiences have equipped you for future challenges. All of this “demonstrates adaptability and a forward-looking mindset to potential employers,” she says.

Remember, “you don’t need any job,” says Mustain. “You want a good job.”

Want to land your dream job in 2024? Take CNBC’s new online course How to Ace Your Job Interview to learn what hiring managers are really looking for, body language techniques, what to say and not to say, and the best way to talk about pay. CNBC Make It readers can save 25% with discount code 25OFF.