Are you in doubt about selecting your major in college? Are you looking for the best career option as a high schooler? If yes, you should stay away from the most useless college degrees this year.
Getting a useless degree may be good for strengthening your resume, but it doesn’t have any impact on a real-world scenario.
Choosing the right degree not only paves the path to your successful career but also keeps you motivated.
On the contrary, you’ll lose interest in no time if you land a lame degree that almost has no employment opportunity these days.
But identifying the useless degrees is not just challenging but also needs a lot of time to analyze and calculate the true potential properly.
So, our editorial team has researched hundreds of subjects to make this unique list. But before we start revealing those subjects, let’s focus on how to identify those.
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What Are The Parameters To Identify A Useless College Degree?
You’ll tend to select one of the most useless college degrees if you don’t think wisely.
And it is better to start a business than to get a useless degree as there are now many ways to start a business without investment as well.
So, it is better to calculate the overall prospect of that degree. And there are specific parameters that you should analyze before finalizing your major.
- Have a fair idea about the job market of that degree and the expected income.
- Always consider the unemployment rate of that particular stream.
- Identify if the demand for that degree has declined in the last few years.
- Emphasize the ratio between difficulty level and employment opportunity.
It is better to stick to a vocational and practical subject if you are money-minded. These subjects will not only have better employment opportunities but are also generously paid than other streams.
30 Most Useless College Degrees You Shouldn’t Try At All
Although almost all college degrees are great to pursue if you have a keen interest in that subject, not every degree gives you the same employment opportunity.
So, we have researched deep into the current education sector to make this a one-of-a-kind list of the most useless college degrees.
1. Public Communications
Oratory prowess is a skill that a few people have inherently. However, there are several institutes and colleges that teach communication.
Although it is not the sole skill needed to work from home, it helps big time if you are in any field job.
Around a decade ago, several field executive jobs like marketing professionals, public relationship managers, and even journalists must obtain a communication degree to land a high-paying job. But those days were long gone!
Now, it is no longer necessary to get one, especially in the new wave of WFH workforces and social media savvies. Besides, communication degrees are also pretty expensive to get.
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2. Fine Arts
Fine art is a subject that the rich world has honed since Middle Ages. But now, it has become one of the most worthless college degrees as there is almost no prospect in it. Besides, a great artist never eyes a degree!
Even genius artists like Van Gough never tasted success in his life, although he became a boom after he died.
Anyway, fine art is a subject that can give you the same kind of experience even if you have any degree with you.
Although there are several great websites to get paid to draw, the unemployment rate of fine art students surged by more than 9% in the last few years.
3. Theatrical Arts
Like fine arts, theatrical art is also a subject that has been experiencing an all-time low in the last few years.
Although you can make money without a job if you are a great theater artist, you need to stay in the industry for a very long time to kickstart it.
While most English actors have a great theatrical background, most Hollywood celebrities never pursued any.
But still, they are pretty successful and high-earning. So, it is necessary to have talent rather than a formal degree.
Moreover, theatrical and motion art always has nepotism to deal with, as good actors always push their descendants to make a smooth entry into the acting industry.
4. Photographic Arts
Let me give you a harsh but indisputable fact first! Almost all the great photographers right now never have a photography degree. So, this one thing is enough to prove the worthiness of a photography degree.
Besides, most talented photographers mainly work independently, as they prefer to sell their creations on platforms sell photos online rather than working for any firm or agency.
And there is very limited opening in this field.
In recent years, the unemployment rate for degree-holding photographers has surged by more than 11%. Besides, they are heavily underpaid, even if any photographer lands a traditional job at a firm.
5. Music Major
Music is one of the highest-paid professions in the world right now.
But believe it or not, a music major has already become one of the most pointless college degrees to get due to its limited employment potential and huge course fee.
Most music students who have already pursued a music major never came into the actual field. Instead, they went to the teaching profession, which is again heavily underpaid.
Most good musicians never chase a job or a contract to work under a fixed firm. And there are ample opportunities to work independently in this field. You can now even get paid to listen to music online.
6. Art History
Students of art history mainly study two things. First, they analyze the classic works of the masters like Claude Monet and Leonardo Di Vinci. And second, they learn about the evolution of art through various eras.
Although it sounds cool and quite an intriguing subject to learn, it is pretty hard to make a career out of one of these most useless college degrees.
Art houses, museums, and art restoration agencies mainly hire art historians. And needless to say, the opportunities are very limited.
It is almost impossible to land a high-paying job just as an art historian. Besides a degree, you also need vast experience in this field.
7. Linguistic Studies
Learning about various languages and their evolutions not only lets you understand the culture but also gives you a sense of how cultures and customs traveled throughout the world through different time periods.
There are now plenty of opportunities available as a freelancer language expert, especially if you have prowess in multiple languages. However, you don’t really need a traditional degree for any of these jobs.
You only need a traditional degree if you work as a professor of this subject or work as an executive in foreign embassies.
But in both places, the opportunities are very limited. However, you can definitely do it as a second major to strengthen your resume.
8. Religious Studies
Religion is one of the main pillars of building a civilization, no doubt about that!
From ancient Egypt to the recent Islamic country formations, religion has always been the primary catalyst. However, it is one of the most useless degrees to obtain this year.
Religious study is good for your soul as it cleanses your heart to become a better human being. However, it is absolutely a bad choice if you aim high to get a six-digit job. Surprisingly, the average pay for a religious expert is just $30k/year.
But yes, if you want to work independently as a televangelist or a preacher, you can definitely make a name. However, you don’t even need a degree even for that!
9. Community Management
Let’s first understand what a community manager actually does! They mainly work as a catalyst to make a close bond between community members or family members.
Besides, they also work to improve the overall well-being of a community. The job opportunities are very limited, even if you have various degrees to decorate your resume.
You can mainly get this job in support centers, rehabs, and community centers. And there are almost no new openings in this field.
The average income of a good community manager now lies around $45k/year, pretty lower than the average standard! Besides, this profession also recently witnessed a close to 4% unemployment rate.
Most ordinary people believe that the ad industry is rapidly booming as there are now platforms available where you can even get paid to click ads.
However, days are gone when billboards and hoardings dominate the ad space. Although the ad industry is not dead, you need a revamped approach as everything has gone online.
So, it is definitely better to analyze and become a master of the social media space rather than get a traditional degree in advertising.
If you really want to enter the field of ads, you should concentrate on developing new-age skills like SEO and SMM rather than obtaining a useless degree in advertising from a college.
Philosophy is something that mainly the students of this subject actually understand.
And for common people, it seems almost like a paradoxical realm to enter. And days are now gone when we used to cherish philosophers like Plato.
Philosophy may be one of the most interesting subjects to learn, but it is definitely among the most useless degrees in the UK and USA. The opportunities are not just limited but are also heavily underpaid.
In the modern age, we have already adopted modern and scientific thought. And with that evolution of contemporary understanding, philosophers are now limited to only the teaching profession.
12. Educational Science
The educational field, especially the online one, has recently witnessed a massive surge in popularity around the globe.
There are even platforms available where you can get high-paying online tutoring jobs if you are truly qualified.
But if you talk exclusively about education science, this field is rapidly losing its charm. And the opportunities are shrinking around the globe with each passing day. Now, educational scientists are limited to just academia.
This professional has not just witnessed a shrinking job opportunity but has also faced a massive wage cut. Besides, there is almost no scope for new players to enter this field.
13. Environmental Science
We all cherished and got inspiration from Greta Thunberg and her environmental efforts, isn’t it?
But do you know that environmental science has very limited scope for a new professional? Yes, the demands are going down rapidly.
Even after having a major in environmental science, many people also had to get a degree in natural resource management or climate-conscious recycling to secure a high-paying job. Besides, it is necessary to have a good amount of experience as well.
According to recent reposts, the unemployment rate in this field has gone way beyond the 11% mark.
Besides, bigger players in this industry are now also trying to exit from the field, which will create a further vacuum in the future.
14. Library Science
A degree in library science is necessary to become a librarian. But, with the rapid growth of digital media, the number of physical libraries is also sharply declining.
And now, library science has already become one of the most useless college degrees.
This decade is all about eBooks and PDFs as most Gen-Y guys rely on digital prints of their favorite books rather than getting a paperback or hardcover one.
People now tend to rely more on Google than a librarian to find their favorite books.
According to a recent financial report, the unemployment rate for library science has crossed the 3% mark. Besides, the average income also lies around $48k/year, which is definitely below average.
15. Fashion Designing
Fashion designing is definitely one of the best money-making hobbies that pay in real life.
However, it is not at all necessary to obtain a degree in fashion design to become a great designer. Instead, you can just have some raw talent and shine in this industry.
Getting a degree in fashion design is also useless as the overall fashion and color choices change after every five to six years. So, what you’ve learned in college while pursuing this degree can be obsolete in no time.
If you really want to become a good fashion designer, take webinars, attend online classes, and watch various tutorials. Besides, an on-job experience will teach you more practical skills than getting a lame degree.
16. Culinary Arts
In a culinary arts degree, you’ll mainly learn how to cook and make that dish look presentable.
But honestly saying, it is one of the dumbest college majors as it never teaches any practical skills to bag a job in the culinary field.
Most restaurants, hotel chains, and even clubs tend to hire cooks and culinary experts having real-world skills and knowledge. And they were never concerned about the degree that the chef holds.
If you want to excel in the culinary sector, you can even make your name just by opening a cooking channel on YouTube.
Besides, being an apprentice to a culinary master will land you a better job than getting this lame degree.
It is no doubt that biology is a significant subject, especially if you talk about the science field.
However, this subject has gone well beyond the general degree and created several sub-genres like medical science, botany, pharmaceutical science, and many more.
And the core subject, biology, is becoming obsolete with each passing day. Nowadays, core biologists are limited to the academic field as they mainly aim for teaching jobs in schools, colleges, and universities.
You can definitely start with a biology degree but always try to pursue a specialized degree as well, such as microbiology, biotechnology, biochemistry, and a lot more.
Psychology is a field that primarily works with the mind and how it works. And there are two main sub-genres of this subject, consulting psychology and clinical psychology.
Although clinical one still has some demand, consulting psychology is losing its charm each day.
There are very few jobs available in the real-world scenario in this sector. Most hospitals and health centers tend to hire psychiatrists rather than clinical psychologists. However, you can definitely practice independently.
The recent financial data suggests that the unemployment rate in the psychology field has gone well beyond 4.8%. Besides, the current average income lies around $50k/year.
Cosmetology is a subject that focuses on several sub-genres like makeup artistry, color compositions, aesthetical appeals, and a lot more.
However, cosmetologists are mainly hired by beauty product manufacturing companies, high-end salons, and fashion houses.
Many spas, salons, and makeover centers now also hire qualified cosmetologists. But the demand for cosmetologists is sharply declining.
And to land a high-paying job, you need to have sufficient practical experience, not just the degree itself.
With a more than 4.7% unemployment rate, cosmetology is definitely a useless college degree in the USA. And the average income now stands at around $42k/year, which is below the industry standard.
Indiana Jones and Lara Craft have created a different space in our hearts when we talk about archeologists.
But in the real-world scenario, this job is not as exciting as it pretends to be. And the job opportunities are absolutely minuscule.
Although it is a great subject to pursue to gain knowledge, it is not a vocational subject that can land you a high-paying job. Mostly, universities, colleges, and government organizations hire qualified archeologists.
But to land any job in the academic field, you need to obtain a master’s and a Ph.D. degree, as a bachelor’s degree is not sufficient. But even if you get your doctorate in archeology, the chances are extremely thin that you’ll bag an excellent job.
21. Civilization Studies
Although it is a part of the archeology itself, civilization study has now become a separate genre altogether that mainly focuses on how civilization evolves.
Although it sounds fascinating, it is one of the most useless college degrees to get. While learning this subject, you can uncover several mysteries of the ancient world.
Besides, you’ll also have deep knowledge about our ancient past. But in terms of jobs, the chances are significantly less that you’ll bag a great job after pursuing this degree.
It is excellent to study civilization and ethnicity, but you do need supporting degrees as well to land a great job. You can also consider double majoring if you really want to stick to this field.
22. Project Management
In project management, you need to study, analyze, and create a blueprint to complete a project in a specified TAT.
Although it is one of the core competencies for any good manager, it now counts among the worst college majors.
In the era of WFH, project management is also not among the core competencies that you can rely solely on. It only has field jobs, and those are pretty limited. Besides, most managers do need great experience to back their degrees while landing a high-paying job.
If you are aiming for a managerial role, it is always better to obtain a bachelor’s degree in some other subject and then pursue a certification course in project management.
23. International Relationships
International relationship mainly analyzes and study the relationship between different countries and their impact on the global scenario.
They not only keep the peacemaking efforts but also try to find a solution to social problems.
Nowadays, international sociology teaches quite a similar subject to international relationships, although it has better career prospects. And even with a degree in IR, you do need ample experience to secure a high-paying job.
The recent financial report suggests that the average income for an international relations expert sunk below the $50k/year mark. Besides, the unemployment rate is close to touching the 10% mark as well.
24. Travel And Tourism
The world has recently witnessed a sharp decline in travel agencies for several reasons. And even the experts can’t predict when the situation will become in favor.
So, it is better not to pursue any degree in travel as of now. Don’t hope to land a high-paying job after getting a major in travel and tourism.
But if you really want to do something in this field, there are several high-paying travel jobs available around the globe that you can definitely try.
There are several alternative ways to make money if you really love traveling, such as creating a YouTube travel blog. Besides, you can also start your travel agency, although you don’t need any degree for that.
25. Adventure Education
Adventure education is a sub-genre of traveling majors. However, it now has a separate bachelor’s degree altogether to cater to the needs of adventure sports organizers and adventure travel agents.
But there is a catch; you can’t land a great job just by having this degree. However, it can be a great addition if you already have your own adventure agency. But without it, it is among the most useless college degrees.
The recent financial report suggests that the average pay now lies around $21k/year. Many people also earn many folds than that, but the chances are genuinely minuscule.
26. Criminal Justice
From Robocop to Captain America, we always have a hero-like image for the defensemen and police. But if you talk about the degree in criminal justice, it is truly among the most worthless college degrees this year.
You’ll only get a job in the law enforcement department after earning a degree in criminal justice.
And trust me, there are very minimal new openings in those departments right now. No new jobs are created in this field as well.
It is better to obtain a degree in political science or criminal psychology if you really want to stick to this profession. Besides, you can also work independently as a detective after pursuing this degree.
27. Paralegal Studies
Paralegal experts mainly delve deep into thousands of legal papers to find relevant information for any case.
But with the rise of artificial intelligence and machine learning, this sector now needs minimal human interaction as the machines can do this more efficiently in a lesser time.
But on the contrary, recent data also suggests that paralegal experts are still in demand, especially if you talk about the labor law department. So, the future of this profession is almost uncertain.
According to a recent stat, the unemployment rate in paralegal studies has touched the 4% mark. Besides, almost 50% of workers in this sector are heavily underpaid.
28. Exercise Science
People are becoming health conscious with each passing day. We not only have awareness but also try to adopt a healthy lifestyle through exercise and a proper diet.
Believe it or not, there are now even apps that pay you to walk available nowadays. On the contrary, the jobs for exercise science experts are diminishing at an accelerated pace.
Although there are a few jobs available in the healthcare sector, no new job openings exist in this field. The unemployment rate also went beyond 10%.
But yes, you can definitely make good use of this degree if you own a gym or work at one. Besides, you can also work independently as an instructor for health-conscious people.
29. Interdisciplinary Degrees
It is not actually a subject but a genre! From ancient language to neuroscience, there can be anything that is a part of this huge genre called Interdisciplinary studies. But believe it or not, they are the most useless college degrees.
From antique dealers to historic preservationists, from anthropology experts to critical care nurses, you can enter various fields by obtaining a degree in interdisciplinary studies. But in each of these sectors, job opportunities are extremely limited.
A new statistical report suggests that the unemployment rate in this industry has gone beyond 5.4%. Besides, the average income also went below the $50k/year mark.
How To Avoid Pursuing A Useless College Degree?
It is unnecessary to obtain the most useless college degrees, especially if you eye a high-paying job. And it is also not easy to know if the degree is useless or not.
But you can simply avoid getting one by following three simple formulas.
- Pick A Degree To Complement Your Talent: Yes, you should only select those subjects and educational stream that perfectly complements your natural talent and interest. Otherwise, if you only run after the money and employment potential, you’ll get frustrated with your job in no time. So, try to figure out your interest before finalizing the stream to pursue.
- Follow Your Passion: You should always follow what your heart and brain together tell you to do. If you follow any such subjects you are passionate about, you will never regret pursuing them, even if you can’t land a high-paying job.
- Pursue An Employable Degree: Besides following your dream, you should also judge the employment opportunity of that subject. It is also better to stick to the relevant and in-demand subject rather than picking up an obsolete one.
Besides these three, you should also consider the pay range of that stream to calculate your earning potential after getting the degree. So, it is better to stick to financially opportunistic majors these days.
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Most Useless College Degrees – Conclusion
While most people think only STEM subjects can fetch high-paying jobs, this assumption is completely untrue.
You can even secure a high-paying job after pursuing an unconventional degree. But yes, you should flow your interest and passion while choosing your stream.
With great talent and the right passion, you can bag lucrative job opportunities even while getting any of the most useless college degrees.
So, these are all for today, folks! Feel free to drop your queries about any subject on this list in the comment box below.
What is the most useless major in college?
Today, the most useless college degrees, especially in tier-1 countries like the USA and UK, are library science and interdisciplinary studies.
Besides, many experts also consider drama, fine art, and theater bad streams to choose from, although they have immense artistic potential.
HR and educational psychology are also on this list, as the employment potential is rapidly declining in these genres.
What are the least useful college degrees?
According to recent studies in the education field, art-related subjects like theater, drama, and painting are counted among the least useful degrees to obtain.
Besides, you should also stay away from outdated subjects like Clinical psychology and Cosmetology.
Community organizations and educational psychology also come on this list, as these genres have minimal job openings these days.
What is the weirdest college degree?
There are several subjects available in every prestigious educational institute around the globe that you can call pretty weird.
But yes, the science of decision and theme park technology are two such subjects that are close contenders to top the list. Besides, subjects like ethical hacking, adventure education, and even physics studies are also considered weird by the common people.
What is the least popular degree for undergraduates?
Right now, the least popular degree for undergraduates is definitely computer science. It is not just oversaturated but has no new openings in the core sector.
However, you can still do it and pursue specialized subjects in the future, like artificial intelligence, data science, and machine learning.
Performing and visual art come second in this list due to their low employment opportunities.
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Hello there, I’m Siva Mahesh, an MBA Finance post-graduate and a Remote Career & Personal Finance blogger for 5+ years. Over the years, my work has been featured on US News, Entrepreneur, MSN, Yahoo Finance, GoBankingRates, EverQuote, Legal Zoom, The Simple Dollar, Databox, Business.com, Business News Daily, Venngage, Score.org, and more. My primary mission is to help our readers maximize their earning potential with legitimate online business ideas, side hustles, and passive income ideas we publish on Dreamshala. Currently, more than 100,000 readers from all around the world visit this blog every month and learn new ways to improve their finances.