5 Useless College Majors: According To Yahoo

If you’re considering going back to school in hopes that you’ll graduate to more opportunities, there are certain degrees that you might want to avoid.

Consider the National Association of Colleges and Employers’ (NACE) 2012 Job Outlook study, which surveyed almost 1,000 employers on their future hiring plans. Many areas of study, such as fashion design and the performing arts, didn’t even make the list.

usless majors by yahoo

college degrees you dont need

Number of Students Awarded Degree in 2008-2009: 24,988

Typical coursework:

  • Crops
  • Plant diseases
  • Animal husbandry
  • Basic veterinary science

When schools such as the University of Idaho cut their agriculture programs, you know times are tough for this degree. The state has more than 25,000 farms, for cow’s sake, according to the most recent U.S. Department of Agriculture census, in 2007.

Still, if your idea of a good day is getting up with the sun and working till it sets as an agricultural manager, a degree in agriculture might be your calling.

failing degree programsJust don’t expect farms and ranches to be calling you, says Laurence Shatkin, Ph.D., and author of “The 10 Best College Majors for Your Personality.” “It’s true that farms are becoming more efficient now and so there is less of a need for farm managers,” he says. That means less jobs. In fact, the U.S. Department of Labor projects 64,000 fewer jobs in this field over the next seven years.

Total Number of Agricultural Managers in 2008: 1,234,000
Projected Change in Number of Jobs 2008-2018: -64,600

is fashion design a good major?

should I major in fashion?

^ You’ll be poor, but at least you’ll look good.

Number of Students Awarded Degree in 2008-2009: 89,140

Typical coursework:

  • Fashion history
  • Sewing
  • Tailoring
  • Coloring
  • Design
  • Pattern making

The world of high fashion is glamorous, exciting, and, unfortunately, highly exclusive and competitive.

“Fashion never dies out, never ends, and even though everything gets made overseas now, there’s always a need for designers. But it’s incredibly competitive. It’s one you really have to establish yourself in,” Shatkin says.

And those glamour positions are expected to be the ones with the fewest opportunities among an already small field, says the U.S. Department of Labor. Because it’s so tough, Shatkin suggests that getting a practical minor with this degree is very smart.

Total Number of Fashion Designers in 2008: 22,700
Projected Change in Number of Jobs 2008-2018: +200

should I major in theater

Number of Students Awarded Degree in 2008-2009: 89,140

Typical coursework:

  • Theater
  • Acting
  • Directing
  • Design
  • Play-writing
  • Communications
  • Dramatic literature

Here’s the good news: Sign up for theater as a major and at least you’ll be really good at acting like you have a job.

Here’s the bad news: Actors endure long periods of unemployment and frequent rejection, says the U.S. Department of Labor. The Department goes on to say that because earnings are erratic for actors, producers, and directors, many hold second jobs. In other words, how do you feel about waiting tables?

Of course, says Shatkin, “People go into this with such a love for it you can’t stop them.”

Total Number of Actors/Producers/Directors in 2008: 155,100
Projected Change in Number of Jobs 2008-2018: +16,900

Related: Do College Freshmen Feel Academically Prepared?

Related: The Dwindling Power of a College Degree

5 usless majors

Number of Students Awarded Degree in 2008-2009: 80,756

Typical coursework:

  • Animal breeding
  • Reproductive physiology
  • Nutrition
  • Meat and muscle biology

Here’s another degree aimed at a career that at first glance doesn’t look all that discouraging. After all, animal scientist employment is projected by the U.S. Department of Labor to grow 13 percent from 2008 to 2018.

But crunch a few more numbers and you quickly realize that you could be in for stiff competition to grab a piece of that pie.

Fewer than 5,000 animal scientist jobs are projected to exist in the field by 2018.

The problem, says Shatkin, is the degree is so specific that trying to apply it to anything else means a tough time convincing people it gives you any useful skills for jobs outside animal science jobs.

Total Number of Animal Scientists in 2008: 3,700
Projected Change in Number of Jobs 2008-2018: +500

stupid majors

Number of Students Awarded Degree in 2008-2009: 24,988

Typical coursework:

  • Crops
  • Plant diseases
  • Agricultural business and economics
  • Crop and fruit science

If you like the farm life but aren’t all that keen on all the whining and clucking of an animal farm, perhaps a degree in horticulture is growing on you.

Unfortunately, the number of jobs in the field itself is not growing, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. And Shatkin agrees. “Better than agriculture, but not by much. If you’re lucky, you may find some way to apply that to a related business like food processing or production,” he says.

Total Number of Farmers and Ranchers in 2008: 985,900
Projected Change in Number of Jobs 2008-2018:

majors that dont make money

Though these jobs may come off as seemingly unfruitful for some, be sure that with ANY profession or ANY major there is SOMEONE making money in it. So follow your dreams and live out your degree.

Written Terence Loose via Yahoo

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Posted by: Maximillian Garland| Bright Futura Columnist

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12 Comments on “5 Useless College Majors: According To Yahoo

  1. Everyday farmers and ranchers go to work; there is never an off day. Agriculture accounts for a very hefty chunk of our economy, a whole 20%. Agriculture also includes things such as food processing, food transportation, and biotechnology. Jobs in agriculture will always be in demand. Without agriculture you will not have food on your table or clothes on your back. If anything is absolutely useless, it is this article that was written by a very narrow minded and incompetent person.

  2. Well said Sarah. This article presents a very narrow view from a reporter who did not approach the subject with an objective mind.

    Agriculture will forever be needed. I hold a BS in Animal Science from Cornell University,and I am currently in a master's program at the University of Minnesota. On the side, I consult with feed companies and independent animal nutritionists. This is not uncommon in my field. Most of my peers from my undergraduate major and other agriculture majors are employed. I took many classes with business majors and Wall Street types, and many of them are still looking for jobs and coming up dry. The lucky ones who did get a job are now very worried that they will be the first cut made by the company. The idea that any college major is more 'useless' than another is a narrow view.

    I would point the reader (and author) to several sources to become more well informed. Farm Journal, a major agriculture media organization published this: http://www.agweb.com/article/strong_job_outlook_f

    Additionally, for those interested in an interesting perspective on skilled workers in America, read about Mike Rowe's address to Congress: http://dsc.discovery.com/fansites/dirtyjobs/mike-

    For the irony — The author after writing this article most likely went home (most likely made of wood –Ag) in a car using gasoline (with some corn ethanol -Ag ). They ate food provided by farmers from around the world (Ag). They then sat down and watched TV or some other form of entertainment (influenced greatly by Theater). The clothes on their back were designed by Fashion Designers, and made with fiber from cotton, wool, etc. provided by — you guessed it: Agriculture.

  3. What a joke obviously this person knows NOTHING about agriculture. Do you want food on your table? Better not cut agriculture. If only yahoo would allow comments. they would be flooded.

  4. After reading this article I’m guessing your journalism degree was useless Terence Loose.

  5. Also disagree with your take on a Theater Degree. True, theater majors need a second skill/ talent, and not all of them make it to the big stage, but there is work in the community, in the classroom, in the church, and many theater majors go on to study law. I know several theater majors who are studying costuming, oh but wait… that's fashion for the stage.. also useless… huh?

  6. Pingback: 5 College Majors that are Useless . . . Really? «

  7. This is so sad! My son and other friends gave a workshop on "No Farms – No Food" recently. It is a shame they cannot do this for the ones that were responsible for this post. I understand that Yahoo was just posting; however, its shocking they would publish this article. Glad to change my home page from Yahoo and setting up new email. Don't bite the hand that feeds you people – Our local farmers keep our food from coming from other countries!

  8. As I have already written in a very in-depth open letter to Mr. Loose, this is simply a misrepresentation of the jobs available in Agriculture, Horticulture and Animal Science. I would also venture to say that it is also a gross misrepresentation of the other degrees mentioned as well. To learn more about why I think this article is invalid, feel free to read my blog post: http://wp.me/p1i8W1-bJ

  9. Pingback: What Did The Last 10 Presidents Looked Like In College? - Bright Futura

  10. Pingback: Top 5 Strangest College Degrees: Hobbies vs Degrees - Bright Futura

  11. Looks like I won't be sh*t in life. Lol. Theater is kinda useless, per say, BUT you have to be extremely talented to actually make it in life…. or suck the dick of a director. But as far as talent goes, TUH! I. Have. What. It. Takes. *dramatically falls to the floor and strikes pose*

  12. Whenever you catch yourself asking, "But how will this help me get a job?" remember people like Terrence Loose have a job– raise the bar. Have a heart, have a soul, have a life.

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