This Is the Most Unusually Popular College Degree in New Jersey

There are over 170 different fields of study tracked by the U.S. Census Bureau in which undergraduate students can earn a degree. Despite the wide range of academic subjects offered at colleges and universities, over half of the 75 million American adults with a bachelor’s degree majored in one of just 15 fields of study.

Majors such as business, nursing, teaching, accounting, and biology are each among the most popular with undergraduates — and with good reason. Degrees in these fields prepare students for careers in essential industries like health care, education, and retail, where job opportunities are available in cities and towns across the country. Here is a look at the college majors with the lowest unemployment.

Of course, just as these industries are practically ubiquitous, many others are specific to certain parts of the country. This is often a reflection of a key industry that might be far less common in other parts of the country. In many cases, this is attributable to the presence of natural resources, like oil or mineral deposits, or geographic features, like a coastline. As a result, workers with degrees in less popular or more specialized subjects are often concentrated only in certain areas.

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the most concentrated degree in New Jersey relative to the U.S. as a whole is naval architecture and marine engineering. Adults in the state are about two times more likely to have a degree in the field than the typical American adult. An estimated 0.07% of adults in the state have a naval architecture and marine engineering degree compared to 0.04% of adults nationwide.

Though demand for workers with this specific degree appears to be higher than average in the state, compensation is not necessarily higher than average. Adults with a naval architecture and marine engineering degree in New Jersey earn an average of $59,264 per year compared to the average income among all Americans with the degree of $79,502. It is important to note that average annual earnings include all adults with the degree, even those who are working part-time or not working.

All data in this story is from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey Public Use Microdata Sample. College majors are ranked within each state according to their location quotient — the percentage of adults 25 and older within a state with a certain bachelor’s degree relative to the percentage of adults with the same degree nationwide. The college major or field of study with the highest location quotient is considered the most unique college degree in every state.

StateMost uniquely popular degreeAdults in state with degree (%)Adults nationwide with degree (%)AlabamaCounseling psychology0.360.12AlaskaPetroleum engineering0.840.06ArizonaAstronomy and astrophysics0.060.02ArkansasMathematics and computer science0.110.03CaliforniaCognitive science and biopsychology0.110.03ColoradoGeological and geophysical engineering0.060.02ConnecticutClinical psychology0.230.05DelawareInterdisciplinary social sciences0.850.17FloridaOceanography0.090.03GeorgiaEarly childhood education1.180.41HawaiiOceanography0.320.03IdahoMining and mineral engineering0.240.03IllinoisCourt reporting0.050.01IndianaPublic policy0.330.07IowaAgriculture production and management1.430.19KansasAgricultural economics0.480.08KentuckyNuclear, industrial radiology, and biological technologies0.100.02LouisianaPetroleum engineering0.410.06MaineNaval architecture and marine engineering0.400.04MarylandInformation sciences0.620.20MassachusettsNaval architecture and marine engineering0.110.04MichiganMechanical engineering related technologies0.200.06MinnesotaSoil science0.070.01MississippiOceanography0.170.03MissouriSocial psychology0.080.02MontanaSoil science0.240.01NebraskaAtmospheric sciences and meteorology0.340.05NevadaGeological and geophysical engineering0.120.02New HampshireMathematics and computer science0.190.03New JerseyNaval architecture and marine engineering0.070.04New MexicoMilitary technologies0.050.01New YorkArt history and criticism0.500.22North CarolinaAtmospheric sciences and meteorology0.100.05North DakotaAgricultural economics0.980.08OhioTeacher education: multiple levels0.640.23OklahomaMilitary technologies0.070.01OregonGeological and geophysical engineering0.070.02PennsylvaniaArchitectural engineering0.100.04Rhode IslandElectrical, mechanical, and precision technologies and production0.130.03South CarolinaMaterials engineering and materials science0.160.06South DakotaSoil science0.120.01TennesseeNuclear engineering0.080.03TexasPetroleum engineering0.340.06UtahCourt reporting0.080.01VermontGeological and geophysical engineering0.190.02VirginiaMilitary technologies0.040.01WashingtonNaval architecture and marine engineering0.100.04West VirginiaMining and mineral engineering0.270.03WisconsinSoil science0.080.01WyomingMining and mineral engineering0.410.03

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