While picking a college major isn’t the end all and be all of life, it does limit you to some extent once the glory years of college fade and the ugliness of the real world shows its face.
It’s not easy to understand why some go one route, while others go another, but what is very clear is that we all have the freedom of choice and some of us choose wrong — very wrong.
If you want to make the most of life, and want to do so without the stress and the burdens that weigh down many, then you should avoid the following ten majors:
I simply can’t think of a major that leaves you in a worse spot post-college. I mean, how does one even find a job in the field of art? Doesn’t that degree limit your ability to apply to jobs in other fields, say accounting or even something half-respectable like real estate? Although artists tend to live very free lifestyles that allow them to bounce around without a schedule — sort of like someone like ADHD, I am still confused as to why someone would pay a school $100,000 to teach them art. It’s one of those skills that you either have and you don’t need a formal education or it’s something you’re not very good at it and you should start looking for a degree and a profession that you will actually benefit from. There really isn’t an in-between or a developmental area.
If I ever have a kid and said child tells me he or she is going off to study art, then that’ll be the day I buy the largest mirror possible from Bed Bath and Beyond and look at myself for hours on end wondering where I went wrong as a parent.
I guess it’s too late for an asterisk here, but the broad title of art should include those studying acting, theater or any of the “fine arts.”
I absolute love history everything from ancient Egypt to medieval times to the American Civil war — I will gobble that shit up. I am so passionate about facts, dates and people that at my high school talent show I recited the 44 Presidents of the United States 1 to 44 and 44 to 1. Yea, it was a nerdy move, but I think it’s the height of ignorance for someone not to care about the past and learn from it.
With all that personal stuff out there, let me explain why history ranks so high on the list — there are no businesses hiring for “historians,” only schools and non-profit organizations. Most, if not all, college history majors find themselves either jumping ship midway through their undergraduate studies, catapulting into a completely unrelated profession once they are out of school or staying in school to get a Master’s Degree, which they flip into a few journals that nobody will read and eventually become a teacher.
Again, don’t get me wrong here I think history is valuable and I’ll always love it, but investing your college tuition on it is a poor investment.
What the hell is sociology even? I took an introduction course my freshman year of school and I still don’t have the answer. The study of society? How does that degree get you employed? Well the answer to that is it just does.
Unlike the previous two on this list, there are jobs to be had for sociology major (yippie!) but they come at a compromising cost. Instead of working in a luxurious corporate office or even at a small business setting, you will be getting into social service work that features constant noise and not a lot of down time. Remember that scene in office space where Peter is eating the Cheetos playing Tetris? Yea, you won’t be able to do that as a social worker. Ever.
This could easily be No. 1, and actually is on similar lists on other websites, but I couldn’t find it in myself to belittle my own college major. With that said, when you think of all the things you want from a job — money, respect, safety — none of those apply to journalist. First off, it’s the industry is dying, so there aren’t too many jobs to be had. Secondly, there is nothing sexy about being a journalist no matter how hard Aaron Sorkin tries to make it look appealing on the Newsroom. Thirdly, and most importantly, journalism is the only job that I can possibly think of — in any field, at any level, in any country, on any planet — that if you excel at your job and actually create something worth having pride in, then you are subject to criticism, neglect and ridicule, not to mention a possible lawsuit.
Yes, it's great that our country has freedom of the press — that’s what motivated me to get into this profession in the first place, but it doesn’t change the fact that if I were to expose a high-ranking government official of a scandal, it would be his or her name in the headlines and I would simply be a byline for millions of readers to pass over and not think twice about. It’s not really fair to have hard work ignored and disregarded by the masses, but it happens more often than not.
Education is a subject I could rant about for a while so I promise to keep this to a three-sentence explanation. You need to go to college to become a teacher; however, you don’t need education as your major to become a teacher (see: Teach for America, Peace Corps, etc.). A degree in education is really limiting because you don’t get to actually learn about other skills and subjects you may need to have in life, not just necessarily in the work force, but just on a day-to-day basis. Lastly, why would you ever want to position yourself into a career where you have to look over and teach 20-plus toddlers five days a week for nine months? Summer vacation? Fuck that noise.
Yea, you could always go on to get a career in publishing or even actually become a writer, but the odds are really stacked against you. English majors are the people that turn out working in clothing stores or high-end restaurants or, you guessed it, teaching the youth of tomorrow. Similar to history, I think everyone should learn and respect English, but that’s just not the way of the world. Please tell me the last time you saw a job opening for a literary analyst or a poet. Exactly, you’ve never seen one of those because they don’t exist. Everyone can read a book and talk about it, how can you exactly turn that skill into a profit? That’s what English majors are still trying to find out…
Religion is not exactly a degree you can use to find a job anywhere. It’s very limiting and I could imagine very boring, even if you find a job in the “industry.” With all that said, there’s a pretty significant “but” here and its that you can really parlay a religious studies degree into a lifetime of travel as a missionary or a preacher or whatever the hell it is you want to do. As a lover of travel, I always get envious when I read stories about these people who traveled around the world teaching and preaching religion. I still don’t exactly get how they have the money to do it, but it seems to be one of the two perks of studying religion. The other being that God is on your side.
Unless you know for a fact that this is the field for you and you’re already planning your Master’s studies, there is no reason you should ever touch this field with a ten-foot pole. You will not get a job in the field of psychology without two degrees, so having one makes you two things — obsolete and helplessly ready to make a career jump.
Most important, at least to me, where psychology makes up where other degrees falter, such as respect (journalism) and pride (history), it lacks in one important area — stability. Similar to sociology and education, one of the things that make psychology so unappealing to me is the constant shit stream a psychologist has to deal. Do you really want to hear about what makes other people depressed for the rest of your life? Yea, me neither.
You may be surprised to see this on here, but its here for good reason. Marketing is for those business students who are too weak to cut it in finance and not smart enough to advance in accounting. Plus, with marketing going digital the way that it has in the past ten years, the education of learning how to advertising isn’t exactly applicable. In other words, you’re going to have to figure out a ton of shit on your own when you get done with school. But then again, I guess you can say that for every profession/major.
However, given the changes to advertising over the years, I want to be the one to warn you the days of Mad Men are long past and what you’re more likely getting into is a creepier, more deranged version of the Big Band Theory, where tech geniuses spew shit that you may never understand and you find yourself working in a job you know nothing about really and can’t explain to family members over Thanksgiving.
10. Hospitality/Restaurant Management
There’s something glamorous about hospitality, isn’t there? For whatever reason, tens of thousands of kids study this each year across the country and all over the world without thinking about what the major will look like when it turns into a career. Similar to all the other fields of study on this list, hospitality will yield you little to no respect in the long run no matter how far you advance. Seriously, even if you go on to manage or own a high-class restaurant, you will have to follow the mantra “the customer is always right” and that mantra is really short for “sure, sir, I can get down on one knee and clean off the dust on your $300 loafers.”
Yes, I may be exaggerating here, but the service industry isn’t as glamorous as it seems. You may have job options after college, so you won’t be totally screwed, but man, you’re still a servant to some extent. No thank you.
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