Why all degrees are useful
By Cazzy Lewchuk, Staff Writer
Many college majors are often thought of as “bad” or “useless.” Degrees not in high demand—basically anything not STEM- (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) or business-related—are seen as “soft” options. They’re perceived as easier to earn and worthless when it comes to landing a job after school.
Certainly, some majors are much more likely to get a job relating to their field out of school quickly. Many programs are specifically tailored to include job training and networking for companies recruiting recent graduates.
But that is not the point of an education. That has never been the primary purpose for post-secondary, and anyone who says so completely misunderstands a large portion of education and the pursuit of knowledge. Furthermore, they limit themselves to a status of competition, closed-mindedness, and extreme rationality. Higher education’s top priority has never been about finding a high-paying, satisfying job until the last century or so, and especially in the last couple decades. Amazingly, knowledge was considered important so a person could become more open-minded about the world, think independently, and improve their overall intelligence, instead of it being the key to instantly succeeding in the real world.
A degree by itself is often not helpful in finding a career, especially with the abundance of them in the job market today. It’s the experiences, internships, and skills developed during the post-secondary years that can be just as important as having a degree—another reason why the specific field is not important.
On the other hand, a degree states that an individual had the work ethic and skills to complete four years of school. Regardless of the field, all degrees require a great deal of effort and commitment. There are common degrees, but there are certainly no easy ones. In fact, some of the degrees that are perceived as the “easiest” or “most useless” are the ones that take the most time and effort to obtain, such as anything relating to art.
Not all degrees relate directly to one field or job. In fact, many of them specifically tie into many fields; a diverse educational background is an asset in the workplace. All degrees teach something that can be applied in the real world. If absolutely nothing else, they teach a basic element of work/life balance.
To imply that the secret to money and job satisfaction is a degree in a certain field gives no virtue to the value of hard work and knowledge seeking. Many people with in-demand degrees have unsatisfying jobs, and many people with “softer” or no degree at all couldn’t be happier with their current occupations.
We’re all adults getting our post-secondary education. For many of us, this is the first time in our lives when we have complete control over our futures based on our desires. We have the freedom to do what we truly love and pursue our dreams. Why isn’t that more encouraged in society?