20 Most Useless College Degrees
For students entering college, there are a variety of degrees and career paths they can choose from.
With dozens or even hundreds of different options, the choice quickly becomes overwhelming. When choosing a major, you may first consider what sounds most interesting and what you think you would be good at. What you might forget, however, is whether or not the degree may be useful in getting you a job after graduation.
When considering what major is best for you, it’s important to think about which degrees will securely land you a job and which are completely useless.
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Here are some of the most useless college degrees out there.
20 Most Useless Degrees
If you’re an advertising major, you may hope to get into digital marketing, e-commerce, or sports marketing. What many advertising majors don’t realize, however, is that in order to land a highly competitive job in one of these areas, their degree should be directly in that field.
Advertising majors take classes on how to promote products and sell them through media outlets like social media, television, and bulletin boards. They also learn what aspects of advertising are most appealing to people, including color and design. This education leaves limited opportunities for employment after graduation. Those who graduate with an advertising degree can find a job at advertising companies, but there are few employers who will take them otherwise. Those who don’t make it in the advertising world are left with few other options.
2. Anthropology And Archeology
If you love history, travel, and being outside, a degree in anthropology and archeology may sound appealing. However, unless you’re ready to spend your time and money receiving a Ph.D. in the field, plus spend years as an underpaid intern or research assistant, this career path probably isn’t for you.
Anthropology is the study of humanity and its cultures while archeology is the study of human history through excavation. Those who graduate with a degree in anthropology and archeology may hope to spend time on a historical excavation site or at least in a museum studying the findings. However, these jobs are few and far between. While a prestigious doctorate from Harvard or Yale may land you at an excavation site, it’s likely that the majority of degrees won’t even get you out of your backyard.
Those who are unable to make it in this field may search elsewhere but have a hard time finding a job.
3. Art history
Students who study art history love art and design. Those who pursue a degree in art history typically take classes in art composition as well as multiple classes on the history of art through every time period. They may study important artists like Vincent van Gogh or Claude Monet.
Although students with an art history degree are passionate about old art and sculptures, it’s hard to make a career out of it. Those who graduate have a wealth of knowledge about art throughout the centuries but have a difficult time finding a job where they can use this knowledge. Some manage to land a job at an art museum and later down the road may be an art appraiser, but this is one of the most difficult fields to enter. Most places that specialize in art want to see a lengthy resume with plenty of experience.
Those who graduate and can’t find a career in the field of art are left to look elsewhere. However, their limiting degree doesn’t leave them many options. Most employers want to see education that is more directly applicable to their careers.
Communications majors study the science behind communication. They learn how to make communication more accessible to all while promoting good communication methods. If you’re interested in communications, you may take classes related to oral and visual rhetoric, as well as classes that help you learn how to best promote your message.
Communications is a field that is so broad there is no specific focus of the degree. While this may sound useful, it actually makes getting a job after college more difficult. Those with a communication degree commonly pursue jobs in fields like journalism, marketing, and business administration. However, those who are interested in one of these fields are better off getting that specific degree. Many of the jobs that communications majors may apply for after graduation are related to specific majors. This makes getting a job with a broad communications degree more difficult.
5. Computer Science
A degree in computer science may sound like you’re on the right track for a successful career after graduation. However, like many of the most useless college degrees, computer science is a difficult degree to use after you graduate.
This is because a general computer science degree is broad, just like a degree in communications. Some students go into computer science expecting to get a job in coding, information technology or cybersecurity. However, there are specific programs for these career paths that look much better on a resume.
If you graduate with a computer science degree, you may find yourself unsure of where to go next. In order to get a job, you may require higher education in your field or more specific education and focus in an area like coding or cybersecurity. You may instead find yourself looking for a job with your current education and experience, which may prove unsuccessful.
6. Creative Writing
Creative writers truly have skills that are desirable for those who go on to publish stories and novels. However, their education is narrow and specific. During their education, students in a creative writing major learn how to tell a story with colorful words and create poetry while also learning about the professional writing process. Their writing is flowing and descriptive.
Although you may become a talented writer with a creative writing degree, you’re not going to make enough money to make ends meet unless you publish a major novel or children’s story. Creative writers don’t learn the skills of journalism or the technicality of linguistics to pursue a job writing for a newspaper or other news company. Instead, they are left with beautiful writing skills and no job.
If you’re interested in creative writing and hope to publish a book someday, consider majoring in a similar field like journalistic writing and taking some creative writing classes on the side. This will make you more employable following graduation and give you a steady income while you write a novel on the side.
7. Criminal Justice
A lot of students get ideas from TV shows and movies like NCIS or Criminal Minds that they want to study the field of criminal justice. Actors make jobs like detectives and special agents seem attractive and fun. However, the reality of jobs such as these is that they are not only dangerous but also few and far between.
Many students who major in criminal justice will spend a significant amount of time after graduation searching for a rare desk job for which they are qualified. They may find themselves working as paper pushers for their city or state of residence. Others may go on to receive additional education or training to begin a career as a police officer, lawyer, or foster care worker. If you’re interested in a career in criminal justice, be sure to first evaluate what job you’re after before deciding if it’s the correct career path for you.
8. Culinary arts
Culinary arts may teach students how to cook and make their food look presentable, but it doesn’t teach students many skills beyond this. If you’re interested in pursuing a job as a cook or chef after college, then a degree may look good on a resume, but any other career will consider your training useless.
This is because culinary students receive limited training in versatile skills like business or health-related information. Culinary students learn how to chop vegetables, mix spices, and boil potatoes, but they don’t learn skills that can be transferred to other types of jobs. The result is that many students who graduate with a degree in the culinary arts wind up unemployed but well-fed after graduation.
If you’re truly interested in pursuing a job as a chef, you’re likely better off attending a culinary school or trade school to obtain your education rather than attending a college or university for a degree. This will allow you to get more specific training in your field while saving you time and money.
At first, this may seem like a highly useful degree. Teaching children is useful, right? However, many who enter the field quickly find that this isn’t as useful as it sounds.
Education majors are required to declare a specialty, such as early childhood, special education, or secondary education. Some who do this are required to get a master’s degree in order to practice in their field. Those who stay with a general education degree may find their degree useless after graduation. A preschool won’t want them because they aren’t certified in early childhood education. Special education won’t want them because they also don’t have the proper certifications or endorsements.
If you’re considering becoming an education major, be sure to consider what type of education you want to go into and declare your specialty. You should be aware that you may have to get a master’s degree or receive extra training and endorsements in order to practice. Additionally, education majors typically undergo rigorous placements at schools of their interest to receive student teaching experience. After all of these channels have been completed, it is only then that an education major can expect to get a job.
A degree in entrepreneurship may sound great for those who look to start a business someday. However, the degree by itself is one of the most useless degrees. This is because students can get all the education they want, but without hands-on business experience, their learning will hardly mean a thing.
If you want to be successful in starting a business, it requires a thorough working knowledge of business through years of experience. Many successful entrepreneurs have a degree in business and have spent years learning in the real world prior to beginning a company themselves. Some may choose to go back to school later to get a degree in entrepreneurship while others may take just a few classes.
An entrepreneurship degree by itself, however, leaves the learner questioning where to go next. They are less employable than someone with a business degree and may lack the education and experience it takes to get a job. Those interested in entrepreneurship should pursue experience first.
11. Ethnic and civilization studies
Ethnic and civilization studies is a culturally relevant field that may seem to be a great choice at first glance. Given the current state of our nation, ethnic and civilization learners are not only important but essential to the progress of our country.
However, a sole degree in ethnic and civilization studies may not land you the career you’re hoping for. Many who receive jobs after graduation with this degree look for jobs in education, social work, and counseling. However, each of these jobs receives a special degree of its own. While studying ethnicity and civilization is important, those who are interested should consider double majoring in a second degree or using it as a minor to increase their chances of a good job following graduation.
12. Fashion design
A person who chooses to major in fashion design may have big dreams of beginning their own clothing brand, working as a designer for a major company or becoming a fashion marketer.
However, it’s again important to consider the job field for this major. It’s difficult to be hired as a fashion designer with a major brand straight out of school and even more difficult to establish your own brand right away. Those who are successful require years and years of experience, making important connections with those in the field and learning how to build their own brand.
If you’re truly interested in the field of fashion design, be prepared to battle unemployment and disappointment. Many students who obtain a degree in fashion design are left looking for a job in a different field and find it wildly unsuccessful as few employers consider their education relevant.
13. Film, video, and photographic arts
This is another degree that attracts those with big dreams. Those with a passion for film production and media are found pursuing a degree that is completely useless.
The degree of film, video, and photographic arts typically teaches students to capture their artistic talents and use them for small photography or videography businesses. Although this is a legitimate job and many people do it well, photography and videography tend to be areas that people are either talented in or they are not. As a result, many of those who will be successful photographers will do so with or without the degree. Although they may find a class or 2 helpful in fine-tuning specific aspects of their work, it’s likely that they’re wasting time and money by pursuing a degree.
Studying languages is a great way to learn about other cultures and prepare for travel to other countries. While there are undoubtedly many benefits to learning multiple languages, the study of languages as a college degree is useless. Those who invest years of their education into perfecting a language may feel accomplished. But when they graduate, there is one important question burning in their minds: now what?
Those who graduate with a language degree may become translators. Others work at a foreign embassy or work to improve country relations. However, these jobs are few and far between. If you’re lucky enough to land one of these jobs, then the pay and job outlook can be ok. However, if you don’t, you’ll be left trying to find an employer that will hire you when your only qualification is that you speak more than 1 language.
Some colleges offer programs for classical languages like Greek and Latin. Others stick to more relevant languages like Spanish and Chinese. If you’re really going to try and make it big in the language world, be sure to choose a relevant language. You should also consider double majoring in a secondary field to make yourself more employable after college.
A music major may spend their time singing in the choir, playing in the band, or participating in extracurricular activities like a jazz band or a marching band. They also spend a significant amount of time in classes that study music history and composition. Music majors may even focus on a certain area like composition or conducting.
Because of the narrowness of their field, music majors frequently have a difficult time finding work after they graduate. If you’re especially talented, you may manage to land a job as a prestigious conductor, professional musician, or community band director. However, these individuals are few and far between. The majority of music majors wind up teaching music lessons or leading worship at church.
Although these are great jobs to make a little bit of extra cash, they rarely manage to pay the bills. Careers with music are typically low-paying and don’t include benefits or a 401K. The result is that those who major in music look for a different career later. However, due to their limited degree in music, many find that they lack the type of education for which many employers are looking.
Philosophy majors study the nature of knowledge. It often seems like a paradoxical field, as students learn about learning and think about thinking. Although philosophers like Plato and Aristotle are household names and have truly made an impact on the world, philosophy is a hard field to break into.
Today, we live in an age where the study and use of science outlive the study and use of thought. Many jobs that are available on the market are related to science instead of thinking. Philosophy majors may be able to land a job as a philosophy professor after years of education and experience, or they can continue to receive education in a different field such as law or writing. However, if you’re dreaming of a stable job and income from a bachelor’s in philosophy, you may want to consider a different field.
Psychology is the study of the mind and its resulting behavior. Like philosophy, a psychology degree is difficult to use after you graduate.
Psychologists often pursue higher education in their field to practice as clinical psychologists. Those who end their education at a bachelor’s degree struggle to find a place to fit in. Some types of counseling jobs are available to those who graduate with a psychology degree. For the most part, however, those with a degree in psychology are largely unemployable.
If you’re considering a degree in psychology, be sure to consider how many schools you want to complete and what you want to do with your degree once you’ve finished. If you’re looking at a specific field, you may be better suited and more hirable by pursuing a different degree.
18. Studio arts and fine art
A degree in studio arts and fine arts covers a broad range of areas including sculpting, painting, drawing, photography, digital media and graphic design. It is a broad field for those who enjoy many types of fine arts. There are a few different reasons why this degree is considered useful.
First, as with the degree in photography, students are typically talented in their area of interest or they’re not. Those who are not talented can not expect to learn in classes what they need to be successful.
Second, those that are especially talented in one of these areas may make a career from it by pursuing their dream without a degree or simply taking a few classes. Although careers in areas like photography and drawing are few and far between, those who are particularly talented may be able to start their career without spending time and money on education.
Third, if a person is particularly interested in obtaining a degree in one of the fine arts, they should pick a more specific degree focus. If someone wants to learn more about graphic design and have a successful career, they should choose a graphic design major.
19. Theater Arts
A degree in the theater arts allows a learner to study acting and the making of theater production. They may take classes about famous plays or classes that help them improve their acting skills. Those who pursue a theater arts degree are typically interested in acting jobs, writing plays or producing scripts.
Those who are interested in the theater arts should be wary about pursuing a degree in this area. This is another field where jobs are few and far between the following graduation. Those who graduate with a theater arts degree should expect years of internships and continuing education, likely followed by a low-paying job. Those who pursue a career outside of their degree may be shut out by employers who are looking for more relevant education.
Those who are especially talented or motivated should continue pursuing an education at a university or center that specializes in the theater arts. These places tend to have more prestigious reputations for their education and may help to jump-start an acting career.
20. Travel and tourism
Sounds fun, right? Even though this degree might have the glitz and glamour of travel and getaway, the end result of this useless degree isn’t so appealing. During their education, students who study travel and tourism learn about the best places to travel, methods of getting there, and how to improve the tourist experience. Although these classes are more entertaining than most, many students who graduate with a travel and tourism degree are left unsure of the next step after graduation.
Students who graduate with a travel and tourism degree have limited job options after they finish school. Although many enter the field hoping to make it big as an Instagram traveler or professional vlogger, the result is that many end up taking boring and mundane office jobs. Some may choose to work as a travel agent, while others may take a job as someone who helps others book plane tickets, hotels, or cruises through private companies. As with many of the other most useless degrees, these jobs tend to be a poor source of income, inconsistent hours, and workers aren’t always treated well.
If you graduated with a travel and tourism degree but are looking to leave the field, finding a job is difficult. You may have cool stories and fun experiences to share, but employers looking for that degree will be disappointed.
Recommended Online Colleges With Useful Degrees
What is the most useless degree?
Some people may have acquired great careers in the past by earning the degrees mentioned in this list of useless degrees. Just as time changes, emphasis in the work world changes. Today, someone may have to look at a more specified degree within those fields of study to gain good employment.
What majors are useless?
Twenty of the most useless degrees are found in this article. There may be other useless degrees. EDsmart has created a list of some of the most common useless degrees.
What are the worst degrees?
This alphabetically ordered list is a list of the more common useless degrees right now. The most useless degrees of today may not be the useless degrees in the future.