What Should I Do With My “Useless Degree”?

So what are you going to do with that?”

This is a question that I’ve been asked time and time again when people find out my college major.  Along with questions like, “do people still read newspapers?” and “won’t you like, not make any money?”

Journalism isn’t the only college degree on the chopping block.  Majors like psychology, architecture, and even education are repeatedly popping up on “useless college degree” lists.  Lists like these, probably written by journalists themselves, are basically telling you, “get comfortable at your service job, because you’ll be there well after your college years.”  Literally, journalism has been on every single list I’ve looked at, before I started writing this piece, and every list since I started researching for it.

Pursue your passion. Now, I’m not telling you to disregard these lists that are probably made up of actual statistics that actually have some truth to them.  But what I am saying is to not let it discourage you from studying what you’re truly passionate about.  If you want to be a journalist, psychologist, architect, or teacher, by all means, go for it.  Sure, a job might not land in your lap post-graduation, like it likely will for someone studying business or some kind of computer program, but it’s not impossible.

You might have to relocate. You might have a bit of a grace period between graduation and your career.  You might have to go on plenty of interviews.  But hey, college wasn’t easy, and neither is real life.  News will always have to be reported, people will always need mental help, buildings will always have to be designed, and darn it, people will always have to be taught.  Maybe the world doesn’t need as many of these people as they need lawyers and doctors, but all of the people with these “useless” degrees do have something to offer.  You just have to stand out more for your interview at an architecture firm more than you might have to at a law firm.

Think outside the box. If you’ve searched and searched to no avail, nobody seems to want to hire you with your medieval literature degree, there’s always the option to get creative.  If there are specific classes you’ve taken that apply to English, include them on your resume for a job in that field.  There are ways to make yourself appeal to an employer without necessarily having the degree that they’re asking for.  It’s possible that your resume will be thrown into the “no” pile, but there’s also a possibility that a potential employer will be intrigued.

By no means am I telling you to disregard all logic and major in something absolutely ridiculous, but it seems that people have lost sight of doing what makes them happy, and opt for the option that makes them the most money instead.  It’s true that we need money to survive, but I fully believe that there’s a happy medium that all of us student pursuing “useless” degrees can find.

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Carmen Bojanowski

Carmen Bojanowski

Carmen Bojanowski is a senior at Eastern Michigan University, double majoring in journalism and communications. She writes for her college newspaper, mostly covering local bands and interns at 89x, a metro-Detroit radio station. She frequents the movie theater and when she has free time, she likes spend it with her friends. Carmen hopes to one day be a music journalist.