10 Hardest College Majors in 2021: Is It Worth It

10 Hardest College Majors in 2021: Is It Worth It

Today I’m going to explain the 10 hardest majors in college. Why they’re so hard and if all the hard work is truly worth it.

You would be surprised at how many of these degrees just aren’t worth your time.

You might want to think hard if you were planning to choose one of the degrees I’m about to talk about because these are some of the hardest college majors.

Now one of the worst things that can happen in college is that you end up hitting your degree because you’re simply not interested in it or because it’s super hard.

That’s why it’s my goal to expose you to as many majors as possible. I did some research on the top 10 degrees people find to be the hardest.

Now let’s get right into it.

RankingHardest College MajorsStudy Hours Per WeekWorth It
10Accounting17 hrs/weekYes
9Math17 hrs/weekYes
8Bioengineering18 hrs/weekDebatable
7Electric Engineering18 hrs/weekYes
6Neuroscience18 hrs/weekNo
5Astronomy19 hrs/weekNo
4Chemistry19 hrs/weekNo
3Physics19 hrs/weekYes
2Architecture22 hrs/weekYes
1Chemical Engineering23 hrs/weekYes

Accounting

Coming in at number 10 in accounting.

Now accounting is one of the harder business degrees out there. It’s right up there with finance. But most people will tell you that accounting is the harder of the two.

Why Accounting Is Hard

There are a ton of more rules you have to learn and so much more memorization in an accounting major.

If you want to go into accounting you also have to take your CPA (Certified Public Accountant) exam which means you need at least 150 college credits and that’s a lot.

The average college graduate graduates with just 120 college credits.

This means you’ll have to take a bunch of extra classes or pick up a whole minor to take a CPA right after you graduate.

On average accounting majors put in 17 hours a week into homework and studying. That’s around three and a half hours a day.

Is Accounting a Good Career

But if you read my post on the best business majors then you know accounting in college is very well worth it because of its stability and versatility.

Math

In ninth place is math which some of you might have expected to be on here.

Why Math Major is Hard in College

Now the reason math is so hard in college is because of all the memorization and how abstract it is.

Research shows that math makers put in over 17 hours into studying every week which I wasn’t surprised to find out.

I know some mathematics who would put in literally hours into one homework question because of how complicated it was.

You need to have a really analytical mind and amazing problem-solving skills if you want to graduate with a math degree.

Is Math Major Worth It

Math major in college is really beneficial in a bunch of different careers. However, to get a lot of jobs requiring a math degree, you need to have a master’s.

But the reason I like it is that there are still so many job opportunities with just a bachelor’s.

You could go into things like consulting, data analysis, or even actuarial sciences. These are all degrees you should be familiar with if read my post about jobs that will pay you over a hundred, thousand dollars right after college.

The next hardest college major is bioengineering

Bioengineering

Now we all know the stereotype that engineers constantly talk about; how intense their coursework is. As far as bioengineering goes that definitely holds true.

Why Bioengineering Is Hard 

Part of the reason bioengineering is so hard is that it covers so much information.

You have to take essentially every single engineering course plus science course. And those tend to be two of the hardest subjects you could take in college.

So I definitely believe the research that shows the average bioengineer puts in around 18 hours a week into their degree.

Is Bioengineering Worth It

Now whether or not bioengineering is worth it is totally up for debate.

A lot of people actually find success after college but there’s a ton of people who totally regret getting a bioengineering degree because the demand just isn’t that great.

Plus, you can get bioengineering jobs with a lot of other majors like electrical and even mechanical. And those are also a lot more versatile. They can get you into a bunch of other career paths.

Bioengineering, on the other hand, limits your options but if it’s something you’re really interested in then definitely look into it then make the decision for yourself.

Speaking of electrical engineering that’s the next major on this list.

Electrical Engineering

Electrical is actually a really common degree these days.

Is Electrical Engineering Hard

The main reason it’s so hard is that it’s one of the more abstract engineering degrees out there.

I mean think about it, you can’t exactly see electricity which makes it much harder to grasp the concepts unlike mechanical or even civil that are really hands-on.

Definitely don’t major in electrical though if you aren’t willing to put in the work.

On average electrical engineering students put in around 18 hours a week into schoolwork.

Is Electrical Engineering a Good Career

Overall though, the grind is well worth it because you have decent job prospects.

Now if you want to learn more about electrical engineering like how much it pays or even about some other engineering degrees that might be easier then feel free to check out this article; ranking 10 best engineering majors.

Neuroscience

At number six, we have neuroscience which is a degree I’ve noticed a lot more people getting recently.

Is Neuroscience a Good Pre-med Major

Now I personally don’t recommend getting this degree because I know a lot of people who got a neuroscience degree just because they want to go to med school.

People find neuroscience to be one of the cooler pre-med degrees because you learn all about the brain and you can actually apply what you learn to the human body.

But the downside is that there’s virtually no demand for this degree at the bachelor’s level.

That’s because, with any hard science degree, you can only touch on the basics at the undergrad level. If you want to go in the sciences you need to have at least a grad degree and preferably a Ph.D.

Most of the kids I know graduated with a neuroscience degree and couldn’t get into grad school. They really struggled after college. A lot of them worked odd jobs at places like coffee shops and others ended up volunteering at labs for no pay or for really really low pay.

Is Neuroscience Hard

On average neuroscience, majors need to put in at least 18 hours a week into studying.

In my opinion, it’s really risky to dedicate that much time to something that might not work out.

If you want to learn about neuroscience then you should major in something that’s more in demand. And then pick up a minor in neuroscience or even join a neuroscience club on campus or a research lab that way you aren’t putting all of your eggs into the one really risky basket.

Astronomy

Now, this next one really caught me off guard; it’s astronomy. After all, isn’t it just staring at stars and planets in the sky; I didn’t really get it.

But then I did some research and figured out that astronomy is super technical.

Is Astronomy Hard

Astronomy major involves a ton of physics and math which tend to be some of the most intense courses you could take in college.

On average students study for around 19 hours a week. That’s almost four hours a day.

Imagine going through a hard day of classes and coming back and still having four hours of studying to do. I don’t know about you but I would be absolutely miserable.

Is Astronomy a Good Career

What’s sad though is all the hard work you put into an astronomy degree is probably not worth it. Because like I said with the other hard sciences you need at least a master’s degree.

And ideally, a Ph.D. if you want any job related to astronomy.

Now if you do manage to get your Ph.D., you’ll make a decent amount of money with the average astronomer making around 111 thousand dollars. But remember that’s only after decades of school.

Some good options at the undergrad level that still allow you to go to astronomy are things like computer science, engineering, and even physics.

Chemistry

Holding the number four spot is chemistry. Now I couldn’t even imagine dedicating all four years of college to chemistry because, for me, just general chemistry was difficult enough.

Is Chemistry Major Good for Medical School

Just like neuroscience, a lot of people who are pre-med end up choosing chemistry because they think it looks good for med school but that’s most definitely not the case.

The best thing you can do for med school is to choose the degree that you like, that will get you a high GPA and that will help you stand out.

With a degree like chemistry, you’re not exactly helping yourself because tens of thousands of students applying to med school have the same exact degree.

The average chemistry student has a lower than average GPA but they put in above-average effort to get that with over 19 hours of vector studying every single week.

I could honestly go on and on about med school for hours but we can’t get too off-topic over here. So feel free to check out this article where I talk about some common misconceptions about pre-med majors and what the best pre-med degrees actually are.

Is Chemistry Major Worth It

Another huge downfall of chemistry is that like other hard sciences, it’s really difficult to get a job right out of undergrad.

So you’ll work super hard to get your degree and probably spend a ton of money on it as well. But the return on that investment, wouldn’t be that great.

Like I said earlier it’s a little bit like neuroscience. The skills you learn at the undergrad level just aren’t in demand in the job market.

So trust me you don’t want to risk not getting into med school and having to settle for a really low-paying job when you spend tens of thousands of dollars on a degree.

Physics

Number three is another hard science degree. But unlike chemistry and neuroscience, this one is actually great to get a job right after undergrad; it’s physics.

Is Physics Major Hard

Now a lot of people say physics is the hardest science major you can get because it deals with abstract concepts and it’s rooted heavily in math.

I know a handful of people who spent just one semester in physics and then they had to drop it. So it’s clear to me that you need to have a really special way of thinking if you want to be successful as a physics major.

On average physics majors put in around 19 hours a week into studying which is insane.

Is Physics Major Worth It

The upside of physics major is that it gives you so much knowledge and if you manage to get through all the coursework then companies are willing to hire you.

They know just how smart you are and what value that can bring which can give you a real upper hand against other college students.

One of the most common career paths for physics majors with the right internships in engineering. But physics actually beats an engineering degree because it gives you so many more options.

Physics majors can go into data analytics, the energy industry, tech, and of course, you can get your Ph.D. and become a physicist. The possibilities are truly endless and salaries are all over the place because of all the job options.

On average a physicist makes around $122, 000 a year.

Architecture

This second major might really surprise you; it’s architecture.

Now I had a really close friend who was an architect major and the grind was absolutely insane. She pulled more all-nighters than anyone I knew simply because architecture is super hands-on.

Is Architecture Hard

With most majors, you just learn what you need to and then get tested on it. But with architecture, not only do you get tested but you have to show that you can actually put into practice what you learned.

This means that on top of your classes and normal studying, you’re going to have constant projects where you have to do things like building full-scale models of buildings and those take days to complete.

Architecture majors put in around 22 hours a week on top of their classes that’s almost four and a half hours a day.

Now I don’t say this to discourage you from majoring in architecture. It’s just a reality that you’re going to face.

My friend absolutely loved her major because she was super passionate about it. She didn’t mind losing countless days of sleep because she was super into what she was doing.

As long as you have that passion you’ll be fine, no matter how difficult your degree is.

Is Architecture Worth It

I have to say though one huge downside of architecture is, it’s not the best-paying after you’re done with school.

You have to get licensed as an architect in your state and in order to do that you usually need a few years of work experience and those entry-level jobs that get you that experience tends to pay around $50,000 a year.

Now that’s most definitely not that bad but it’s not as great as a lot of the other majors. Once you do get your license through the average salary is $85,000 and in a lot of states, you can actually earn well over six figures.

Chemical Engineering

And finally in the number one spot we have chemical engineering.

Is Chemical Engineering Hard

Chemical Engineering is basically a combination of everything that’s hard about chemistry and everything that’s hard about engineering to create one super intense major.

Is Chemical Engineering in Demand

The engineering portion of Chemical Engineering, actually makes this degree super practical.

You could work for a company like PNG helping them make chemical products or even food. Also, Chemical Engineers tend to be some of the highest-paid engineers with an average salary of $109,000.

It’s going to be super difficult to do and you’re gonna have to make a ton of sacrifices. But I would say all that grind would be worth it at the end of the day.

Conclusion

It’s pointless to spend money on a college degree that isn’t in demand because then your only options will be to settle for a low-paying job or spend more money on another degree which might not always work out.

It’s best to get a degree that keeps your options open whether that’s going to grad school or getting a job. This way if one path doesn’t work out, you always have something to fall back on.

Also keep in mind that the hardest college majors vary from person to person, depending on your interests and skills.

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