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No such thing as a useless college degree.

TheINFJNala
Posts: 47
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3/25/2015 10:52:22 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I hear constant Internet jokes about college degrees considered to be useless.

First it was philosophy, then it was the arts, then it was education, and now it's my planned major: biology.

In short, it seems that whatever field does not pay around $70,000 a year or such is a "useless" degree. Does everyone only care about money nowadays?

Ironically, the articles that explain the worthlessness of certain degrees also show statistics of employment and annual pay. Unemployment rates are around 10% or less, and annual wage is around $30,000-$50,000. HOW is that worthless money?

It offends me, but at the same time it makes me laugh really hard. If these majors were really worthless, then why are they still be offered at even the most prestigious colleges and universities? Why are there still teachers and professors? Why are there still journalists and writers? Why are there still biologists? Why are there still anthropologists? And so on.

We have these professions in society because of these majors. So if you are going to insult a major or a profession, do thorough research. 10% is not a high unemployment rate. $30,000 or $50,000 are pretty darn good amount of earnings.

Anyone agree with me?
Fly
Posts: 2,550
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3/25/2015 11:01:32 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Well, I would agree that no college degree is useless, but there are degrees that are not worth the debt they put the student into. A lot of variables to consider here: are you planning on a career with not much demand? Are you going to a very expensive university for a degree without much income potential? Are you retired and getting a degree just for your own edification?

Not sure why people consider a biology degree useless, frankly. I know that degrees such as women's studies, human development, communications and such are not a pipeline towards financial independence. The stats show that a degree in anything is better than no degree, though.

I'm also a big believer in the skilled trades for those attracted to that type of work-- decent living, satisfying work, no degree required!
"If you say you pray to God, that makes you normal. But if you say you pray to God through your hair dryer, you are clearly a lunatic. I fail to see how the addition of a hairdryer makes the claim more ridiculous or offensive."
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Diqiucun_Cunmin
Posts: 2,737
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3/26/2015 8:50:35 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/25/2015 10:52:22 PM, TheINFJNala wrote:
I hear constant Internet jokes about college degrees considered to be useless.

First it was philosophy, then it was the arts, then it was education, and now it's my planned major: biology.

In short, it seems that whatever field does not pay around $70,000 a year or such is a "useless" degree. Does everyone only care about money nowadays?

Ironically, the articles that explain the worthlessness of certain degrees also show statistics of employment and annual pay. Unemployment rates are around 10% or less, and annual wage is around $30,000-$50,000. HOW is that worthless money?

It offends me, but at the same time it makes me laugh really hard. If these majors were really worthless, then why are they still be offered at even the most prestigious colleges and universities? Why are there still teachers and professors? Why are there still journalists and writers? Why are there still biologists? Why are there still anthropologists? And so on.

We have these professions in society because of these majors. So if you are going to insult a major or a profession, do thorough research. 10% is not a high unemployment rate. $30,000 or $50,000 are pretty darn good amount of earnings.

Anyone agree with me?

I agree that bio is not a useless degree, though I highly doubt someone can make US$30,000 after taking a philosophy degree. I don't think philosophy is useless - society does need philosophers, or we wouldn't be where we are today - but the fact is, this is not the Eastern Zhou Dynasty. You can't get a higher-than-average standard of living with philosophy any more. Getting a philosophy degree will probably only get you a slight edge over those without a degree - possibly a comparative disadvantage compared to those with practical subdegrees - because seriously, what job needs philosophy knowledge nowadays?

Interest and ability should be one's main concerns when choosing a subject to study, but future can't be ignored, either. It's preferable to strike a balance between the two. I plan to do linguistics in university; it's my area of interest, but I also know there are jobs available where a linguistics degree will be useful. I think your choice of biology is another example of striking that balance. Philosophy or anthropology is probable too unrealistic; BBA, on the other hand...
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UndeniableReality
Posts: 1,897
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3/26/2015 9:13:35 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/25/2015 10:52:22 PM, TheINFJNala wrote:
I hear constant Internet jokes about college degrees considered to be useless.

First it was philosophy, then it was the arts, then it was education, and now it's my planned major: biology.

In short, it seems that whatever field does not pay around $70,000 a year or such is a "useless" degree. Does everyone only care about money nowadays?

Ironically, the articles that explain the worthlessness of certain degrees also show statistics of employment and annual pay. Unemployment rates are around 10% or less, and annual wage is around $30,000-$50,000. HOW is that worthless money?

It offends me, but at the same time it makes me laugh really hard. If these majors were really worthless, then why are they still be offered at even the most prestigious colleges and universities? Why are there still teachers and professors? Why are there still journalists and writers? Why are there still biologists? Why are there still anthropologists? And so on.

We have these professions in society because of these majors. So if you are going to insult a major or a profession, do thorough research. 10% is not a high unemployment rate. $30,000 or $50,000 are pretty darn good amount of earnings.

Anyone agree with me?

Maybe what those people meant is that it is difficult to get anywhere with just a bachelor's in biology or chemistry. You typically need a masters or PhD in those fields to be high up.

By the way, you can make that kind of money as a PhD student (with scholarships). You should aim higher =)