Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Top Ten Most Worthless College Degrees

We all know one of these guys.  You know, the professional college student who is constantly changing his course of studies, and spends about 9 years and untold thousands of dollars in finally obtaining a bachelors degree in fine arts.  Or film studies.  Or sociology. 

And we all  know where to find this guy: playing video games in the basement of his parent's house, where he has lived for the last nine years since enrolling in college.  This guy can wipe out hundreds of bad guys in Call to Duty XXI, but couldn't talk his way into a real life job interview to save his soul.  Accordingly, he will be a burden on his aging parents until they finally work up the backbone to kick him out.  And then and only then will he actually start to look for a job.  And very, VERY likely, it will be one flipping burgers, if he's extremely lucky.

There are millions of guys like this out there.  Millions and millions of 'em.  Some of them are camped out on the sidewalk in Manhattan these days, but most are still in their parent's basement.  And nearly all were ill served by their choice of studies in school.  Some of them have degrees that are pertinent to some employers, but most simply chose worthless degrees, and the Top Ten Most Worthless are:

1.  Fine Arts.  This degree has virtually no bearing on life, and particularly is irrelevant when it comes to an employer. Just how does one transfer the skill of making paper mache figures into being part of a productive business enterprise?  That would be a tough one to explain.   Sure, a few fashion houses here and there will specify this degree, but those jobs are as plentiful as chicken lips.  Meaning: not very plentiful at all.

2.  Art History.  Another degree that is high on the scale of worthlessness.  Just how many employers are interested in your knowledge of the impressionist era, or of art deco?  I know the answer to that one: approximately ZERO, give or take zero. 

3.  Women's Studies.  Sure, there are employers everywhere falling all over themselves to throw money at women's studies graduates, since they are in such high demand.  Actually, I am dripping with sarcasm as I wrote that first sentence.  In the real world, there are NO employers who would touch a women's studies diploma holder with a ten foot pole.  They are perceived as walking, talking sexual harassment lawsuits, waiting to descend with a God awful vengeance on whatever hapless employer stupidly hires them.

4.  Marine Biology.  Of course, every kid who ever had a pet turtle or goldfish, or ever watched an episode of Jacques Cousteau tells their parents that when they grow up, they want to become a marine biologist. Just like we all wanted to be ballet dancers as girls, or train engineers as boys.  Eventually, though, we grow up and know that those professions, while they exist, are few and far between and we get real jobs.  But not real, live marine biology graduates.  The only jobs for those guys are teaching other guys to be marine biology graduates, and even those are tough gigs to land.  Question: what is the most common question asked by a marine biology graduate these days?  Answer: 'would you like fries with that?'

5.  Archaeology.  Just like all kids who want to be marine biologists, when we started learning about dinosaurs, the first thing we did when we came home from school is tell mom and dad, 'when I grow up, I want to become an archaeologist.'  Sigh.  Ask all of those fifty three genuinely employed archaeologists, out on a dig in the middle of Montana, what they get paid for digging through a few tons of dirt with a toothbrush.  When they tell you $7/hour, don't visibly gasp, as it might hurt their feelings.  On the bright side, at least those 53 archaeologists are working.  The other 5 million archaeologist degree holders are still living in their parent's basement, playing Mortal Combat. 

6.  Law.  These are some of the saddest cases, these new law school grads, and especially the ones who passed their state's bar exam, and find that for every scummy little paralegal job opening that pays $20,000 a year, there are about a million unemployed new lawyers standing in line to get an application.  That, after they just coughed up about $150 Grand worth of expenses getting this jewel of a degree.  They should have taken note of all of those lawyer jokes they heard growing up.  Turns out, those jokes are not jokes.  They are all true. 

7.  Sociology.  Social work.  That is a magnet for all of the do-gooders in high school, who 'just want to help people.'  Oh, boy.  Where to start, where to start....first of all, these dreamers have to know that all jobs in social work pay almost nothing.  And some pay exactly that: nothing.  If you really want to help, your employer says, you will voluntarily do this for nothing and that will really, REALLY help (unsaid, it will mostly help keep the boss' payroll down).  Eventually, these dopes wise up and go get real jobs flipping burgers.

8.  Journalism.  It could be said that dumb ol' Fredd here is a journalist (although I was not dumb enough to get a degree in this stuff).  Sitting here, writing an article that is published on the World Wide Web.  And what kind of dough does Fredd pull down in payment for the crap, er I mean, material he publishes?  That's right: ZERO dollars.  And in the communications age, transfer of information is virtually free.  Accordingly, we all see print media struggling, newspapers going belly up, and what do these numbnuts do when considering a degree?  Journalism.  Doh!!

9.  Fashion Design.  For all of the girls in high school who were called 'clothes horses,' this is the degree for them as they know when they graduate, they will quickly develop a line of clothing named after them, such as Vera Wang, Johnnie Versaci, Calvin Klein and that gang.  With 500,000 fashion design degrees pumped out each year, and about 7 fashion design slots available, the simple math here suggests that the only fashion designing decisions these dumb degree holders will be doing is deciding which color of McDonald's name tag they will wear that day: Red, Yellow or Black.   Question: typically what material is the hat made of that a fashion design degree holder wears? Answer: paper.

10.  Performing Arts.  Or acting, as it used to be called.  Question: what is the main activity engaged in by those holders of a performing arts degree?  Answer: busing tables.  I lived in North Hollywood for a year or two way back when, and everybody I met had a script in their pocket: they either wrote it, or were studying lines in it, but everybody had a script.  In their back pocket, of course,  because they needed their hands free to wipe down counters, bus tables, flip burgers and wash shot glasses as they tended bar.  But they were all actors.  And they all had performing arts degrees.  As do most mimes, by the way...


innominatus said...

Dead on. I can only think of one single exception:

There was a *HOTTIE* I went to high school with back in the '80s. She get her degree in Fashion Design and promptly got hired by Nike and was making six figures within just a couple years. It didn't hurt that she was very smart and very driven. And also a *HOTTIE*.

Fredd said...


If you are a bonafide 'HOTTIE,' (all caps, I get it) it doesn't matter what your degree is in. You're hired. That's the way life is, like it or not. Just ask any of the info babes on Fox News. Not an Uglo-American among that crowd.

Have you seen any bonafide 'HOTTIES' down on Wall Street, soaked in their own feces and urine? No.

Silverfiddle said...

Hey, I take offense to this article. I was into womens studies for many years...

Fredd said...


Not studying women, women's studies. There's a huge's evil, and the other is, well, kind of evil too.

But there's still a difference...

WomanHonorThyself said...

hiya Fredd..nice to see ya at WHT as always...this is a great list but of course there are exceptions to all rules....I know some successful businessmen who never even finished their degrees and accountants who make little to nothing!..but some of the courses offered are pathetic beyond words..your'e spot on!

Fredd said...


Yes, exceptions abound:

1. Kim Kardashian, high school dropout and all around reprobate, did OK for herself, don't you think?

2. Both Bill Gates and Steve Jobs dropped out of college, and of course didn't starve to death, from what I hear.

3. Cher Bono, another high school dropout and card carrying moron, went on to fame and fortune.

Of the four I mention here, two are brilliant, and two are complete and utter idiots.

Like you say, there are always exceptions.

Z said...

Fredd, sadly,a 'hottie' just died at Occupy Vancouver, of a drug overdose from what they think...just like the Tea Party folks, eh? :-)

HEY, WAIT A MINUTE HERE!! You just picked on two exceptions in women who are ARMENIAN, you got something against my breed? :-)
(I knew Kim's dad very well, by the way, and loved him, especially when he realized his great friend OJ was a murdering liar) I think both Cher and Kim are card-carrying morons, ARmenian or not, by the way, don't get me wrong. But they're REALLY CLEVER morons, you have to admit$$$$$
Even if they ARE just gypsies, tramps and thieves :-)

I disagree with you on some of your list because I love art history and do know successful designers and love performing arts and think they give kids a LOT more than a math class might in very important ways, BUT you're absolutely right in the fact that YOU DON"T EARN MONEY if you MAJOR in them. MINOR in them, take classes on the side but DO NOT take college loans to be an archeologist unless you've got a bead on some dig that will shake the world and support you!!

I responded to your comment at Mac 'n GeeeZ, nice to know you're a big foodie, too!