Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Moms with Adult Kids Moms with Adult Kids

"Useless" degrees.

Posted by on Jan. 8, 2013 at 7:04 PM
  • 42 Replies

My BIL was talking about how his daughter wanted to switch her degree from Design to Art History but he put a stop to it because Art History is a useless degree.

Now personally I don't think there are useless degrees. Do you?

To me you go to college to learn not to be guaranteed a job when you get your degree because of the degree.

Some would say my daughters degree will be useless it's in Anthropology.

However, I know that just having a degree can get you in the door for some jobs. The degree doesn't even have to relate to the field you apply for sometimes as long as you just have one.

Some jobs even say, 60 hours of college required.

College or not, whatever you do, you are learning something about yourself and the world. That's my philosophy. I would no more tell my adult child what degree to get then tell him/her what life to pick.


by on Jan. 8, 2013 at 7:04 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
LEK19
by Platinum Member on Jan. 8, 2013 at 7:41 PM
1 mom liked this

I pretty much agree.

As far as getting a job, I do believe how you sell yourself and what you can do with the degree or the experience you have plays a big part, too, besides just the degree.

I have been involved in interviewing and hiring people who ace the interview, have the degrees and still did not do well working day-to-day and/or dealing with other people.

atlmom2
by Gold Member on Jan. 8, 2013 at 7:46 PM
I would show on the computer the useless degrees and if they chose it anyway then so be it. My dd picked finance. One of the top 10 useful degrees.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
CoeyG
by on Jan. 8, 2013 at 8:27 PM
2 moms liked this

I have never thought about a "useless" degree, Shannon was into french art/histoyr/culture and was working at a degree in it.  Her father thought if ias "useless" and kept harpeing at her to get a business degree.  However while working towards her "useless" French degree she was votged  12 months out of 12 employee of the year from start of her working for Guess because a group of French students only shopped there when they frequented that mall because she spoke and could understand them in French They knew what day she worked, they knew her name, They knew she could hlep them and they appreciated they did so in their language and they spent their money (lots of it) in their sotre because of it.  Over this past summer her father learned how "useless" her French was when a large family of French speaking visitors to their area there in Texas decided to stay with them not because of the amenities and lower price...but because someone spoke and understood their language and could help them much better than the expensive motel with the pool.  Dad's motel got the money not the big motel across the way LOL

sabrtooth1
by on Jan. 8, 2013 at 8:28 PM

 YES, there are useless degrees.  It's true that having a degree is better than NOT having one.  Numerous studies over the years have shown that individuals with college degrees significantly out-earn those with high school degrees, by $1 million or more over the course of a lifetime.

But while there's no doubt that a college degree increases earning power and broadens opportunities, today's high cost of education increases faster than inflation and the economy remains relatively weak.  With unemployment at an all time high, this means it makes sense to more carefully consider which degree you earn.  When it comes to return on investment, not all degrees are considered equal.   How much money can YOU afford to flush down the toilet?  Because with a degree in Anthropology, your daughter's chances of getting a job that will allow her to be self supporting, never mind repay her student loans, are slim and none. 

13 years ago, my daughter decided to go for Art as a degree.  She even had a scholarship to the School of the Art Institute.  We told her that JUST IN CASE she did not get discovered as the "Next Big Thing" the day after graduation, she ALSO had to get a degree in something marketable.  She ended up going to the University of Illinois, and getting a double major, in Studio Art, and Secondary Art Education.  It took her a YEAR to find a job, and she STILL cannot find another. She MUST live in the city she teaches in.  Her boyfriend of over 3 years owns a home in ANOTHER town.  Unless she finds another job, or he is able to sell his house and move into her city, they aren't going forward in their lives.  She makes great money, Thank God, but her degree is NOT marketable.

And I am NOT ALONE in thinking this. 

https://plus.google.com/+NewsweekandTheDailyBeast/posts/XE9MUM23aEQ


http://www9.georgetown.edu/grad/gppi/hpi/cew/pdfs/Unemployment.Final.update1.pdf

http://www.koat.com/news/new-mexico/education/-/9153702/3044142/-/arofniz/-/index.html

Bleacheddecay
by Gold Member on Jan. 8, 2013 at 8:35 PM

I'm not throwing money away on college. She hasn't even touched her college fund yet and she is a senior. She did get a scholarship. She has inherited some money too. She pays her own way when she needs to above the scholarship. She has no debt and no loans.

I don't see paying for college as an investment with a financial return anyway. I don't see why people think that way.

There are jobs out there. They may not be the dream job but there are jobs to be had.

Bmat
by Barb on Jan. 8, 2013 at 8:53 PM
1 mom liked this

I'd think there would be a variety of jobs in art history-  museum work,  perhaps archaeology, teaching.  Perhaps she could get a minor in art history.  I studied math for 6 years and ended up teaching dance and fitness, so I'm a prime example of profession not following the college degree.

jabs54
by Jeanine on Jan. 8, 2013 at 8:58 PM

 I do.  My dh works with a slew of kids who have 1 and 2 degrees and can't find a job in that field so they are now working in the basement of the hospital running supplies around, with huge school loans.  My dh has an accounting degree that has been useless.  JMO.

Maddie24
by Gold Member on Jan. 8, 2013 at 9:01 PM

I agree with sabrtooth.  I told my girls they needed to think very seriously about what kind of life style they wanted, find a job in the city that met their financial requirements, then get a degree for that job. My daughter fiddled around for years in college (living at home) until I put a stop to it and told her what to major in because she HAD TO FINISH AND SUPPORT HERSELF.  She finished, employed within 2 months and has every opportunity for her future to support herself.  Kids over-think what they want to do with their lives - they need to get on it.  I was not afforded the time to ponder - at 17 I enrolled in college, my dad 'suggested' the job and I completed the degree to get there. I am glad he did.   I have interviewed and hired many - in my field I wanted the degree to have something to do with the job or you did not make the cut for an interview.  There are many people with degrees that apply for the job - why interview someone  with a non-related degree? 

Quoting sabrtooth1:

 YES, there are useless degrees.  It's true that having a degree is better than NOT having one.  Numerous studies over the years have shown that individuals with college degrees significantly out-earn those with high school degrees, by $1 million or more over the course of a lifetime.

But while there's no doubt that a college degree increases earning power and broadens opportunities, today's high cost of education increases faster than inflation and the economy remains relatively weak.  With unemployment at an all time high, this means it makes sense to more carefully consider which degree you earn.  When it comes to return on investment, not all degrees are considered equal.   How much money can YOU afford to flush down the toilet?  Because with a degree in Anthropology, your daughter's chances of getting a job that will allow her to be self supporting, never mind repay her student loans, are slim and none. 

13 years ago, my daughter decided to go for Art as a degree.  She even had a scholarship to the School of the Art Institute.  We told her that JUST IN CASE she did not get discovered as the "Next Big Thing" the day after graduation, she ALSO had to get a degree in something marketable.  She ended up going to the University of Illinois, and getting a double major, in Studio Art, and Secondary Art Education.  It took her a YEAR to find a job, and she STILL cannot find another. She MUST live in the city she teaches in.  Her boyfriend of over 3 years owns a home in ANOTHER town.  Unless she finds another job, or he is able to sell his house and move into her city, they aren't going forward in their lives.  She makes great money, Thank God, but her degree is NOT marketable.

And I am NOT ALONE in thinking this. 

https://plus.google.com/+NewsweekandTheDailyBeast/posts/XE9MUM23aEQ


http://www9.georgetown.edu/grad/gppi/hpi/cew/pdfs/Unemployment.Final.update1.pdf

http://www.koat.com/news/new-mexico/education/-/9153702/3044142/-/arofniz/-/index.html


DesignGirl450
by Lynda on Jan. 8, 2013 at 9:27 PM
1 mom liked this

I totally agree that having a degree, any degree, can give someone an advantage over someone without the education, when it comes to job hunting.  So saying, though, it is helpful these days when the job markets are so competitive, to do some research into fields which are actually hiring people who have the education you are pursuing. 

sabrtooth1
by on Jan. 8, 2013 at 9:37 PM


Quoting Bleacheddecay: I'm not throwing money away on college. She hasn't even touched her college fund yet and she is a senior. She did get a scholarship. She has inherited some money too. She pays her own way when she needs to above the scholarship. She has no debt and no loans.

I don't see paying for college as an investment with a financial return anyway. I don't see why people think that way.

There are jobs out there. They may not be the dream job but there are jobs to be had.

So you're not throwing money away, SHE IS.  She is squandering her inheritance. 

Perhaps THIS will get the idea across.

53% of Recent College Grads Are Jobless or Underemployed—How?

More than half of America's recent college graduates are either unemployed or working in a job that doesn't require a bachelor's degree, the Associated Press reported this weekend. The story would seem to be more evidence that, regardless of your education, the wake of the Great Recession has been a terrible time to be young and hunting for work.

But are we really becoming another Greece or Spain, a wasteland of opportunity for anybody under the age of 25? Not quite. What the new statistics really tell us about is the changing nature, and value, of higher education.

First, here's the nut of the AP's findings, which it derived with the help of researchers from Northeastern University, Drexel University, and the Economic Policy Institute, based on data from the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey and the U.S. Department of Labor:

About 1.5 million, or 53.6 percent, of bachelor's degree-holders under the age of 25 last year were jobless or underemployed, the highest share in at least 11 years. In 2000, the share was at a low of 41 percent, before the dot-com bust erased job gains for college graduates in the telecommunications and IT fields.

Out of the 1.5 million who languished in the job market, about half were underemployed, an increase from the previous year.

These numbers are hard to fathom, and the more you compare them to other measures of unemployment, the more bizarre they seem. Unfortunately, I don't have all of the data the AP was working with. But their analysis implies that about a quarter of the post-collegiate population is outright unemployed. By comparison, in December 2011, ONLY  20% of 16 to 19-year-old Americans couldn't get work. Meanwhile, according to the OECD, just 18.4% of all Americans under the age of 25 were unemployed in 2010. By those measures, college grads are actually faring worse in the job market than the overall youth population. They're also suffering terribly compared to the older college-educated populace, which has an unemployment rate of 4.2 percent. 

It's hard to imagine why any of this might be, other than that some recent grads may simply not be willing to take the low level jobs available to them. 

On the other hand, many obviously are. As the AP notes, recent graduates are now more likely to work as "waiters, waitresses, bartenders and food-service helpers than as engineers, physicists, chemists and mathematicians combined." This is a problem for any number of reasons, but here are two big ones: First, a degree is more expensive than ever, and students are piling on debt to finance their educations. It's much harder to pay back loans while working for tips at Buffalo Wild Wings than when you have a decent office job. Second, when college graduates take a low-paid, low-skill job, they're probably displacing a less educated worker, For every underemployed college degree holder, there's a decent chance someone with just a high school diploma is out of work entirely. 

So is a college education simply less valuable than in the past? In some respects, yes. According to the Census, the number of Americans under the age of 25 with at least a bachelor's degree has grown 38 percent since 2000. Not nearly enough jobs have been created to accommodate them, which has resulted in falling wages for young college graduates in the past decade, as well as the employment problems we're now seeing. 

That said, not all degrees are created equal. The AP reports that students who graduated out of the sciences or other technical fields, such as accounting, were much less likely to be jobless or underemployed than humanities and arts graduates. You know that old saw about how college is just about getting a fancy piece of paper? Not true. For an education to be worth anything these days, it needs to impart skills. 

When there were fewer graduates, a generic college degree used to be a valuable credential. Now that the market is flooded, diplomas count less, and specific skills count more. This means that, in many instances, associates and technical degrees may be more financially valuable than a liberal arts degree. After all, some of the fastest growing job categories are expected to be in so-called "middle-skill" positions such as nursing, which do not require a full, four-year education. It's one more sign that, for people seeking to fix America's employment picture, "college for all" is the wrong mantra. We need to be talking about "skills for all" instead. 


 

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)