Useless College Majors

The Daily Beast thoughtfully prepared a list of the college majors that “offer the fewest job opportunities and those that tend to pay the least.”  20 Most Useless College Majors.

If you or your kids are considering one of these you might reconsider.  Of course, if they are about to graduate from college it’s a bit late.  If you don’t want to click through, the top ten are below.

I was crushed to see Advertising at number four.  I spent 40+ years in this industry and made a decent living and had a lot of fun.  We used to always say, “It’s just advertising.”  That was to remind ourselves that this really wasn’t very important and if the industry went away tomorrow it would have no effect on the GNP.  Nor were there any Fortune 500 board members asking about the ads or the account planning strategy statement.  I traveled all over the country and a few times abroad all in the pursuit of great communications and awards.

A lot of important companies paid us a lot of money to develop brands, do ads, write memos and make cool Power Point presentations.   Too often clients blamed the agency when business was off.   When business was good clients credited their own awesome business acumen.   It was always troubling to note that when the economy was bad clients opted to reduce their spending with the agency first.  That seemed to say a lot about the value they perceived.  Yet,  I got to meet some smart, fascinating and unique people during  my career.  So even though it is now apparently a lousy degree with a crappy future, it sure was good to me. 

But I digress.  It would seem that journalism has really suffered with the demise of newspapers.  And trust me, a blogger, tweeter, news reader or anybody on Fox is not a journalist.   I’m not quite sure what horticulture is but I think it has to do with plants and flowers.  That seems to dovetail with Agriculture … not a lot of people going into farming.

1. Journalism

2.  Horticulture

3.  Agriculture

4.  Advertising

5.  Fashion Design

6.  Child and Family Studies

7.  Music

8.  Mechanical Engineering Technology

9.  Chemistry

10.  Nutrition

I would add Philosophy as a useless major.  Not a lot of money in that.  Add Latin to that.  You will also find Art History and English among the second ten.   There might be four jobs in the world related to the history of art.  And I never understood the point of English as a major.  Especially when I interviewed so many English major graduates who were lousy spellers and worse grammatically.  There are probably a few thousand English teaching jobs available in the U.S.  After that, what exactly do you do with that major?  Oh, wait — I think those people are all on reality shows.

 Forensics is now a hot major.   Thank you CSI for that.  I certainly hope this does not mean there is going to be an explosion in violent deaths to justify all these new graduates.  Or maybe they can be on the next iteration of CSI: CSI Topeka.

Given the rising cost of college and the commensurate difficulty in getting into college you would hope that the colleges would drop some of these useless majors.  It’s time to offer more relevant majors like television personality, talk show host, pundit and my personal favorite:  Social Media Expert.


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