The 20 most useless college degrees


This list of the most useless college majors by The Daily Beast will likely irritate supporters of arts and the humanities — and offer an opportunity to gloat for those who see a college education merely as a ticket to a good job.

At the top, of course, is the obvious: journalism, where jobs like mine dwindle even as the Internet grows.

But chemistry?

And here’s a doozy for the U:

3: Agriculture

Median starting salary: $42,300

Median mid-career salary: $59,700

Change in number of jobs, 2008-2018: -9,100

Percentage Change in number of jobs, 2008-2018: -0.88

Undergraduate field of study: Agriculture and natural resources

Number of students awarded degrees 2008-2009:: 24,988

Here’s the full list:

  1. Journalism
  2. Horticulture
  3. Agriculture
  4. Advertising
  5. Fashion design
  6. Child and family studies
  7. Music
  8. Mechanical engineering technology
  9. Chemistry
  10. Nutrition
  11. Human resources
  12. Theater
  13. Art history
  14. Photography
  15. Literature
  16. Art
  17. Fine arts
  18. Psychology
  19. English
  20. Animal science

You can check out the whole list in this slideshow.

Here’s how The Daily Beast compiled its ranking of the most useless college majors:

To find the most useless degrees college students can get with their four years and hundreds of thousands of dollars, we wanted to know which majors offer not only the fewest job opportunities, but those that tend to pay the least. The Daily Beast considered the following data points, weighted equally, with each degree’s numbers compared to the average for each category, to achieve a categorical comparison that accounts for differentiation from the mean. Data are from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Payscale:

• Starting and mid-career salary levels, using the profession most associated with the degree.

• The expected change in the total number of jobs from 2008-2018.

• The expected percentage change in available jobs from 2008-2018.