Your parents want you to go to college. And by "go to college", they mean study for a career with the highest salary possible, be that a lawyer, doctor, or anything else with a big paycheck. Sometimes we just really want to study what we actually, you know, love, but in doing so we're greeted with a sea of adults calling our majors "useless".

blackandwhitenod asked: College graduates with stereotypically useless majors, what did you end up doing with your life?

Living the dream.

"Art history with a biology major and got my masters in museum studies. I work at an art history website making art history fun for people who don't think art and museums are for them.

Though the dream job is collections manager at a museum so I can touch all those things regular visitors can't."


That's a lot of things.


"Majored in Buddhism.

Then taught English, then worked in logistics, then tourism, then renewable energy, then energy efficiency, then Salesforce consulting and now I'm an in-house Salesforce admin."


Who says that isn't useful?

"Animation major here. I pretty much just draw adult cartoon for cash. Turns out I wasn't good enough to make it into the business, but good enough to draw some boobs. That's pretty much what I have to show for it now."


Goal: Achieved.

"English literature, specifically in 18th century British literature and philosophy, and pro-slavery literature during the antebellum period.

I'm a high school teacher, but I was on the professor track to begin with. It's so much less stressful, more fun, and has much better pay with summers off as a teacher.

The major taught me to critically think for multiple perspectives, communicate in a clear and effective way, and actually how to write and how to think about writing. I also get to integrate my love of philosophy of language in my lessons and pedagogy. I love my career!"


Theatre people are the worst sometimes.


"Theater major here. Fell out of love with it pretty quickly when I realized that I A) don't like other theater people and B) like paying bills and eating.

Now I'm an Instructional Designer working for a large bank. I design and deliver training material and teach people how to do their jobs.

My degree has been invaluable. I can get up in front of people and talk to them, deliver a clear message and make them believe me. I can improvise when things go wrong. Being able to communicate your ideas well is almost as important as the ideas themselves."


Film people, on the other hand...

"'You're majoring in film? Have fun waiting tables.'

Jokes on you, literally every company is looking for somebody who can do video for them, and the freelance market is insane. I watched movies for college and make more money than most of my friends with "more useful" majors.

Except for the engineers, but... Duh."


Still useful knowledge to have, at least.

"Psychology major.

Spent a year bartending then worked for a few months as a leasing agent. Finally ended up going through a 2nd degree nursing program and got my BSN within 11 months."


She got the last laugh.


"Not me but my wife. When we met she was getting a degree in Radio, TV, and Film. I was a Bio major and jokingly mocked her major often.

I work in an Vet Medicine lab and she works for a pharma advertising agency. She makes more than double what I do. Guess who is laughing now."



"BAC on Visual Arts, emphasis on painting. Am now a tattoo artist - for 5 years already.

Am not rich but I can provide for myself."


Good for them.

"Got a degree in journalism, the slightly more targeted version of getting a degree in "English." I do security at fine art museums.

I'm glad it worked out this way. Reporting is more important than ever but I learned I didn't want my job to be my life. I make a living wage in a fascinating institution, get to meet artists and people from all over and have an ethical job mission. And I get to leave all my work at the door, take nothing home."


Following their dreams.

"I'm not sure how to translate this but I have a diploma in theology (you can study this at an academic university here, not the hardcore church/bible stuff). I work as editor (permanent employee) for a big publishing company and kind of "make" books. That was, what I always wanted to do, so I ended up perfectly fine.

For a lot of positions you don't have to study the actual subject but work on your profile while you are in college."


That counts as a use, right?


"Art history. Brief stint as a paralegal, longer stint in a non-technical role in the tech industry, and now I'm a locksmith-in-training.

I am a fine example of all that can go wrong when you let bright, academically-inclined teenagers blindly choose a course of study without asking them what they might actually want to do all day. I do not recommend my particular career path unless you're really desperate to make interesting small talk at cocktail parties."


Not too late.

"English major. Now a translator.

Wouldn't be so bad if I didn't find the work to be boring and unfulfilling. Pay isn't great either (unless you work directly for the EU or something, but I have no desire to move out of my hometown and they usually require knowledge of French and/or German in addition to English, neither of which I'm really interested in mastering).

Currently figuring out what else to do. I'm in my 30s. Brushing up on math and looking into learning how to code after that. If it wasn't for my 30k student debt I'd probably just go back to school part time. Can't really afford it at the moment.

But hey, I've got a permanent contract at my job so it ain't all bad. Never have to worry about being able to pay the rent, and I can save about €100 a month while still having some money left for fun stuff like the occasional night out or video games (yay Steam sales)."


Thanks a lot, Grandma.

"I have two degrees in Anthropology. I work as a project manager for a cultural resources management firm. We do archaeological survey work.

My grandma once told me she thought I was doomed to never have a job."


A collegiate happy ending.

"Went back to school at 30 to finish my BFA. And not just any BFA, a BFA at a multidisciplinary strongly conceptual school of contemporary art.

I spent the first year working as a preparator at a gallery, while doing a decent amount of freelance gigs locally and eventually with art fairs that would send me around the world. When I made a major move with no real prospect in the art world nearby I was able to get a job doing stained glass restoration in a studio that really valued the multiple skills I had from a studio artist's background.

After a year of that and a change in my relationship that freed me up to explore options elsewhere I've been offered a gig as a preparator at a University museum in St Louis, and have an interview in the next week for a University Museum in Madison Wisconsin. Three years out of school and getting a professional job in a legit museum environment is pretty big in the art world, so I'm feeling pretty good about it and don't much regret the path I took."


Clint Patterson/Unsplash

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