Dr. Helen

Clarification on Worthless Majors

I have a post over at the PJ Lifestyle Blog on the book Worthless: The Indispensable Guide to Choosing the Right Major that seems to have a number of comments that disagree that liberal arts degrees are indeed, worthless.

I agree that not all are. In Aaron Clarey’s book, he mentions a number of BA degrees such as psychology, sociology, english and creative writing that do not land graduates in general a good job. However, he also gives good advice on what to do if you want to persue some of these degrees. For example, in my field, psychology, it is only worthwhile possibly with a master’s degree and with a PHD and a private practice, the degree becomes worth something. Even when I got a BA many years ago in psychology (with a minor in business), I realized that a BA was just a stepping stone as really, was a master’s degree.

I think one thing the book really does is help a student focus on what majors may give them a bad return (or a good one) on their money, something to consider now that college is so expensive. When college was cheaper, and a college degree meant more, maybe a BA in the humanities was okay. Now, people need to look at their majors more realistically. For whatever disagreements commenters had with Clarey’s thesis, he does help students go into a major clearly understanding what they are getting into and that is a good thing.