Americans are increasingly questioning the assumption that every kid should go to college. While it’s still the right path for many, higher education is also failing many students, leaving them in piles of debt but with degrees that are pretty impractical.
Here are the 12 most useless degrees, according to Business Insider.
- Civilization Studies
- Interior Design
What makes these majors the least useful? Well, Business Insider came up with the list by surveying experts about job prospects and starting salaries. Many degrees on this list are not actually necessary to work in the targeted industry they relate to, or, require multiple advanced degrees in the subject before one can do so.
Now, this doesn’t mean there’s no intellectual or moral merit to any of these fields of study. But it does mean that you shouldn’t drown yourself in subsidized government debt just to pursue one of these majors knowing the limited prospects that await you. If you really want to study English, great, but maybe don’t rack up $200,000 in loans to do so. Start at a local community college or affordable state school, instead.
Otherwise, you’ll end up like the 44% of college graduates who regret their choice in major, per a recent ZipRecruiter survey. (Surprise surprise, communications, marketing, English, and other majors from the Insider list are also among the majors most commonly regretted after-the-fact.)
There’s also a public policy dimension to this conversation.
As I explain in a new New York Post column, President Biden’s latest plan for student debt “relief,” aka debt-transfer to taxpayers, subsidizes the least productive degrees the most. On the other hand, it subsidizes the most productive, in-demand degrees like computer science and engineering the least. That makes zero sense.
We need to promote alternative paths to higher education, like training programs and apprenticeships. We also need to ensure that when young people do go to college, they make smart decisions aligned with market incentives. Otherwise, more young Americans will end up with useless degrees they regret and nothing but mountains of debt to show for it.
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