Religious studies are perceived to be an interesting degree to purse but one that typically leads to lower-than-average earnings by U.S. adults who responded to a YouGov survey published in late March.
One in four respondents (26%) said that a religious studies degree was “very interesting,” tied with degrees in art, earth sciences, economics and sociology for the sixth highest percentage in the survey.
Nearly the same number (27%) of adults say a religious studies degree provides a “more well-rounded” education than other possible degrees – tied with economics, engineering, liberal arts and social work for eighth place.
However, 20% of respondents said a religious studies degree was a “less well-rounded” path, which tied with art for the second highest percentage behind performing arts (21%).
Almost half (46%) of respondents said a degree in religious studies would lead to lower-than-average earnings – the second highest percentage behind art (48%). Only 8% of adults felt a religious studies degree would lead to higher-than-average earnings – the lowest total in the list of degrees surveyed.
Only 10% of U.S. adults said they would pursue a degree in religious studies if they were seeking a college degree today, with women (12%) more likely than men (9%) to do so.
By comparison, computer science was the most preferred degree path (20%), followed by history and business (both at 18%), and then engineering, psychology and criminal justice (all at 17%).