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The Most Useless College Degrees – Sociology, Psychology and the Arts

The times they are a changing! Just a decade ago, the most coveted life accomplishment to ensure life success was a college degree. Today, in an economy that is dwindling – and where entrepreneurship is often occurring outside of the brick and mortar walls of college, many professionals, and institutions are rethinking the importance of college as a secondary education.

In the United States, the vast majority of high schools offer technical programs and dual enrollment programs which enable a graduating senior to leave high school with a viable degree that enables them to work professionally. The same cannot be said for those attending four-year universities. Recently, the Harvard Law School published a report that stated 5/6ths of all graduating law students are struggling to find a job – and are unable to find work in the field of their choice. So what are these students to do with their high dollar educations, student loans, and fancy dreams? Meanwhile, the kid in high school who went to a trade school to become a licensed electrician, or nurse – has spent the past 5 years employed, owns their own home and is on the fast track to success.

This has many people wondering what are the most useless college degrees to obtain in this day and age.

According to the Inquisitr, the worst college degree to pursue – and the one most highly pursued is a liberal arts degree. According to Forbes magazine, far too many families fail to realize that high dollar colleges are actually businesses who put a lot of money and effort into the trying to persuade people to buy their product. By the time a college graduate with a liberal arts or business degree graduates, they will likely only be able to find a job that makes an estimated $10 to $12 an hour. Another worthless degree is one in IT or Computer Science. Sure, we live in a technological age but the truth remains that most IT people make an estimated $38,000 per year, which will barely make the payment on student loans accumulated after 5 years of hard work. The reason that many of these light degree programs are so worthless is because businesses today are taking advantage of freelance or contract work that replaces the need for full time employees. If your job can be done remotely by someone that a company does not have to pay benefits to, provide office space for, or be held to laws and regulations, chances are you have chosen a degree path that is not desirable.

Even more frightening, is that according to the Federal Reserve student loan debt is the fastest increasing debt in the United States. With the ‘average student’ owing near $30K, they will likely be paying off this costly debt well into their 30’s or even their 40’s. Student loan debt is currently one of the only debts not forgivable by bankruptcy.

According to Fox News Network, a college degree is worthless if you cannot expect a return on the investment in the education.

The Top 8, most worthless college degrees based on earnable lifetime income are as follows:

  1. Sociology. Based on a poor return of investment, and with the market flooded with so many people seeking sociology degrees to do a white variety of jobs, this degree can make you virtually un-hirable. And the average income rests around $32,000 per year.
  2. Fine arts. No matter how much the arts are revered, unless you can put your art to work for you – chances are it won’t pay off in the end.
  3. Education. Nearly 2 out of every 3 degrees earned in 2010, according to Fox news was an education-based degree. This means the market if flooded with people hoping to engage in the world’s noblest profession. Worse, teachers pay is not that great. On the flip side, if family in the future is important to you – then teaching can be a great job where you can still remain with your family.
  4. Theology. You would think with God on your side, all things would be possible. The problem is that the earning for a pastor are minimal, and there are a lot of politics involved as well.
  5. Tourism/Travel. The vast majority of degreed individuals in the tourism industry earn salary based on commission. The problem is that tourism is market driven, and the short and long-term tourism markets do not look good.
  6. Nutritionist. If you are going for healthcare, go a little further and get your RN.
  7. Psychology. Unfortunately, clinical psychology doesn’t pay well unless you are Dr. Phil and being backed by Oprah. Analysts believe that this is another degree where just too many people are flooding the market with qualified applicants.
  8. Communications. The range of jobs that you can land with a communication degree is wide. However, the pay off is not. You would be better off working from the ground up in a company and being promoted to earn a healthy paycheck.

The bottom line is that a college education is not a guarantee of a happy, middle class lifestyle. While it is true that you will be happier in life doing something you love, and that education is important – it is also necessary to think long and hard before investing time and money into a degree program that may not enable you to recoup your investment. Trade and technical schools are making a comeback, and as unemployment rates of well-educated people hit all time highs, many highs school seniors are contemplating the efficacy of pursuing trade type careers.

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4 comments

Sigh! November 12, 2017 at 6:00 PM

I disagree about psychology. There is a lot you can do with it. I am majoring in psychology and planning on earning a masters in gerontology. Gerontologists make excellent money, but without majoring in psychology, I would go into my masters not knowing anything. You can also go into social work. Depending on the kind you do, you can make pretty good money. “Unless you’re Dr. Phil or backed by Oprah…” that’s a load of crock. Psychologists make excellent money, especially if they’re in private practice. The times when psychology is useless is when you stop at a bachelors. Then you can’t do anything with it.

In reference to other majors, $48,000 to start per year isn’t actually all that shabby. That is a living wage and most places you can live comfortably on it. Let’s be real here, you’re not going to make much more than that starting out anyway.

Reply
Travis July 19, 2018 at 12:29 AM

“Another worthless degree is one in IT or Computer Science.”
That is the point in the article when I realized this is garbage. Someone needs to do their research and not classify these two as the exact same. Computer Science has got to be one of the most useful 4-year degrees imaginable. IT is more of the maintenance side, whereas CS is more of the creative side of creating software. There is a vacuum in the job market right now for Software Engineering positions. There are so many companies in need of Software Engineers that people who study Computer Engineering or Electrical Engineering are getting pulled into these non-hardware related jobs because there’s not enough people graduating in CS to keep up with the demand. The median pay is around 56k but its not too difficult to start at 70k or higher straight out of a 4 year university. Computer Science is worthless? This article is worthless.

Reply
D G September 16, 2018 at 7:14 AM

While this is an important topic for prospective students, it’s a topic should probably be addressed by someone who knows what they are talking about. “Most Useless Degrees” is the type of dismissive language that a steroetypical culture warrior would use, not a journalist or an expert on the matter.

Reply
fdhfdher February 23, 2019 at 11:25 AM

Look at that, Jodi Arias graduated from college.

Reply

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