The 13 Most Useless Majors, From Philosophy to Journalism

The Daily Beast finds the 13 most useless majors, from philosophy to journalism.

AP Photo

AP Photo

In just a few weeks hordes of freshly minted college graduates will be thrown out into the real world with one huge question on their minds: what now?

Some, unfortunately, will be saddled with the unsettling feeling that their degree is not marketable in this tough economic environment, but for students with a few years to settle on a major, The Daily Beast looks into the numbers to find the 13 most useless college majors.

This year we started with new research (PDF) from Georgetown University—which drew from two years of census data to determine the prospects for myriad majors—to narrow down our list to more than three dozen popular college majors. We also used data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, equally weighing the following categories to determine current and future employment and earnings potential for our final ranking:

Recent graduate employment
Experienced graduate employment
Recent graduate earnings
Experienced graduate earnings
Projected growth in total number of jobs, 2010–2020

AP Photo

1. Fine Arts

Unemployment, recent grad: 12.6 percent
Unemployment, experienced grad:
7.3 percent
Earnings, recent grad:
$30,000
Earnings, experienced grad:
$45,000
Projected growth, 2010–2020:
+5 percent
Related occupation:
Craft and fine artist

AP Photo

2. Drama and Theater Arts

Unemployment, recent grad: 7.8 percent
Unemployment, experienced grad:
8.8 percent
Earnings, recent grad:
$26,000
Earnings, experienced grad:
$45,000
Projected growth, 2010–2020:
+4 percent
Related occupation:
Actor

Matthew Lloyd / Getty Images

3. Film, Video, and Photographic Arts

Unemployment, recent grad: 12.9 percent
Unemployment, experienced grad:
6.7 percent
Earnings, recent grad:
$30,000
Earnings, experienced grad:
$50,000
Projected growth, 2010–2020:
+9 percent
Related occupations:
Film and video editor; photographer

AP Photo

4. Commercial Art and Graphic Design

Unemployment, recent grad: 11.8 percent
Unemployment, experienced grad:
7.5 percent
Earnings, recent grad:
$32,000
Earnings, experienced grad:
$49,000
Projected growth, 2010–2020:
+13 percent
Related occupation:
Graphic designer

Patrick Chatelain, AFP / Getty Images

5. Architecture

Unemployment, recent grad: 13.9 percent
Unemployment, experienced grad:
9.2 percent
Earnings, recent grad:
$36,000
Earnings, experienced grad:
$64,000
Projected growth, 2010–2020:
+24 percent
Related occupation:
Architect

Guang Niu / Getty Images

6. Philosophy and Religious Studies

Unemployment, recent grad: 10.8 percent
Unemployment, experienced grad:
6.8 percent
Earnings, recent grad:
$30,000
Earnings, experienced grad:
$48,000
Projected growth, 2010–2020:
+17 percent
Related occupation:
Postsecondary teacher

Christopher Furlong / Getty Images

7. English Literature and Language

Unemployment, recent grad: 9.2 percent
Unemployment, experienced grad:
6.2 percent
Earnings, recent grad:
$32,000
Earnings, experienced grad:
$52,000
Projected growth, 2010–2020:
+6 percent
Related occupation:
Writer and author

Rick Smith / AP Photo

8. Journalism

Unemployment, recent grad: 7.7 percent
Unemployment, experienced grad:
6.0 percent
Earnings, recent grad:
$32,000
Earnings, experienced grad:
$58,000
Projected growth, 2010–2020:
-6 percent
Related occupations:
Reporter, correspondent, broadcast news analyst

AP Photo

9. Anthropology and Archeology

Unemployment, recent grad: 10.5 percent
Unemployment, experienced grad:
6.2 percent
Earnings, recent grad:
$28,000
Earnings, experienced grad:
$47,000
Projected growth, 2010–2020:
+21 percent
Related occupations:
Anthropologist and archeologist

Richard Drew / AP Photo

10. Hospitality Management

Unemployment, recent grad: 9.1 percent
Unemployment, experienced grad:
5.7 percent
Earnings, recent grad:
$32,000
Earnings, experienced grad:
$53,000
Projected growth, 2010–2020:
+8 percent
Related occupation:
Lodging manager

Max Whittaker

11. Music

Unemployment, recent grad: 9.2 percent
Unemployment, experienced grad:
4.5 percent
Earnings, recent grad:
$30,000
Earnings, experienced grad:
$45,000
Projected growth, 2010–2020:
+10 percent
Related occupations:
Musician and singer

Franka Bruns / AP Photo

12. History

Unemployment, recent grad: 10.2 percent
Unemployment, experienced grad:
5.8 percent
Earnings, recent grad:
$32,000
Earnings, experienced grad:
$54,000
Projected growth, 2010-2020:
+18 percent
Related occupation:
Historian

AP Photo

13. Political Science and Government

Unemployment, recent grad: 9.1 percent
Unemployment, experienced grad:
6.0 percent
Earnings, recent grad:
$35,000
Earnings, experienced grad:
$65,000
Projected growth, 2010–2020:
+8 percent
Related occupation:
Political scientis

MORE COLLEGE RANKINGS:
13 Most Useful College Majors
America's Happiest Colleges

America's Druggiest Colleges
America's Most Rigorous Colleges
America's Most Gay-Friendly Colleges

PLUS:
Admissions Data: Who Got in This Year?
All the Gossip From Harvard Sex Week