What to Do with a Useless Degree

LiveCareer Staff Writer
by LiveCareer Staff Writer

When you earn a degree, you want more than just an education. It’s reasonable to expect a return on your investment. Unfortunately, certain degrees don’t always lead to the job opportunities and financial rewards you want.

While some degrees seem far less fruitful than others (hello B.A. in Poetry!), any college degree is useful, as long as you know how to transform it into a valuable commodity. Read on for tips on how to make the most of any degree – and sample jobs for some of the more “useless” degrees.

    1. Think outside of your degree. You can’t always draw a straight line between your degree and a related job. Just because you graduate with a particular degree doesn’t mean that your job prospects are limited within that field. Think more broadly when looking for a job.
    2. Supplement your degree.Your degree may be a good foundation, but, if it doesn’t help you get the job you want, you may need some additional training. Taking the right courses, or pursuing the right advanced degree, can greatly increase your marketability. There are many online degrees to choose from.
    3. Use your unusual degree to set yourself apart.Financial institutions are usually staffed with employees with finance degrees; check out any IT department and you’ll likely find workers with technical degrees. For some jobs, there is no avoiding the fact that you need a particular degree. But, for other jobs, your differing expertise can set you apart – in a good way.

Studies shows that any degree can increase your salary , give you more job options, secure your job or help you transition to a new career. To make the best educational and career decisions, take the Free Career Assessment Test to identify the right careers – and career path – for you.

Here are some examples of “useless” degrees and what you can do with them.

  • Bachelor’s in History

As a History major, you’ve undoubtedly acquired a wide-range of skills that will serve you well in many jobs. With effective research and critical analysis skills you could look outside of education to find a good job match for your most transferable skills.

Possible jobs (with median salary): 

Archivist: $55,421

CIA agent: $63,381

Economist: $93,898

Film editor: $60,503

  • Bachelor’s in English

If your Bachelor’s in English isn’t landing you that dream gig writing for the New York Times, you may want to explore other ways to make a living with your strong writing and people skills. With just a few strategic courses to complement your core degree, you could have a great new career with your humanities degree.

Possible jobs (with median salary): 

Lobbyist: $89,613

Marketing specialist: $59,482

Public relations assistant: $44,068

Technical writer: $65,467 </p

  • Bachelor’s in Psychology

With your degree in Psychology, you’re not just destined for a life as a psychologist or some related field of human service. With your knowledge of human behavior and strong data analysis skills, you could find your niche in any number of different industries.

Possible jobs (with median salary):

Human resources manager: $90,951

Immigration officer: $97,112

Market analyst: $70,536

Wage analyst: $43,519

Read more about Education, including online degrees and other continuing education options, for help finding the best degree program for you.

About the Author

LiveCareer Staff Writer

At LiveCareer, we live and breathe the belief that we can help people transform their work lives, and so do our contributors. Our experts come from a variety of backgrounds but have one thing in common: they are authorities on the job market. From journalists with years of experience covering workforce topics, to academics who study the theory behind employment and staffing, to certified resume writers whose expertise in the creation of application documents offers our readers insights into how to best wow recruiters and hiring managers, LiveCareer’s stable of expert writers are among the best in the business. Whether you are new to the workforce, are a seasoned professional, or somewhere in between, LiveCareer’s contributors will help you move the needle on your career and get the job you want faster than you think.


Please rate this article

Average Ratings
1/5 stars with 1 reviews

As seen in*

brands image
*The names and logos of the companies referred to in this page are all trademarks of their respective holders. Unless specifically stated otherwise, such references are not intended to imply any affiliation or association with LiveCareer.