When we posted our list of ‘13 Most Useless College Majors’ yesterday, quite a few of you wanted to add your two cents. Here are 13 of them.
I get that article, though I may not agree with it. I'm a current Anthropology major, and although becoming an archaeologist may not be the most "practical" career option, Anthropological concepts and knowledge can be applied to any field at all. It's simple the study of people; how we live and how we got here. It's the most interesting subject I could study, and I've learned countless invaluable things since I've started. It's a great way to look at the world, because people are really amazing.
[A]s an anthropologist who now works for an advertising agency, i completely agree with hannahlouwhoo! imho, the real issue is that most schools don't give students the context and perspective they need to understand how they might leverage their "useless" majors in IRL professions ... when i was in school ('07), none of my professors ever mentioned that anthropologists are highly valued in advertising and marketing. i was just lucky enough to figure it out on my own (and a little by accident).
“I know I’m going to get a lot of hate for this comment, but it was actually best described by my History Professor (I’m a double major of chemistry and history): Sciences are the movers and shakers of the majors, the rest enrich lives. Science cures illness, creates indoor plumbing, creates safer buildings, and keeps us from eating poisons. Sciences will never go to war, they may argue, but it is quickly solved by an experiment (ex./ “water has 2 hydrogens” “no it doesn’t!” “you want to bet!” “yeah!” “to the lab!” problem solved) where as other disciplines will be constantly warring. Science creates a safer life, it’s the rest of the disciplines that make it bearable. So yes, in some ways science is the most useful discipline, but it doesn’t mean that the others are unimportant. Just unnecessary for survival.”
I've started to think about degrees the way some people think about marriages: You do the first one for love, but the second one for money... :)
What’s more important, the people who made works of art, or those who shell out millions to buy them? Art critic Blake Gopnik responds to ‘The 13 Most Useless College Majors’ list.
I say we could simply retitle The Daily Beast's survey as "The 13 Most Useful College Majors" and it would be equally valid.
After all, who's more important today, Rembrandt or the people who bought his art? Monet or the people who bought his? Van Gogh or the rich idiots who FAILED to buy what he made? Useless is as useless does, I say, and it seems pretty clear to me that, across history, many of the people who made the biggest difference had training in the most useless professions. (Aristotle, anyone?)
Again, which is more useless, adding another million dollars to the millions you already have, or adding a new work of art, or a new thought, to the world's store of ideas? The single biggest problem the world has today, by far, is that people in the West are used to owning and using too much, and are setting an impossible example for the rest of the planet. (See the new movie Surviving Progress.) So there's real-world, practical virtue in living modestly, "uselessly", and taking your pleasure from the thoughts and ideas you acquired in getting your "useless" degree in art or poetry or philosophy. The world will not be a better place when more people have more money and stuff. It can ONLY be better when more people have better thoughts.
I'm proud to say that my first degree, in medieval history, and my second and third, in art history, are as useless as they come. I'd do them all over again.
PS: The most recent issue of Newsweek magazine, The Daily Beast's sister publication, ran a nice long and positive review of a book by philosopher Michael Sandel claiming that money is not the measure of all things—and that it's ruining America's values.
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