A Degree in Useless/Headscratchers

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  • How many people see Philosophy as useless in the first place - had to say it- just. bugs. ME. Why does everyone assume that it "doesn't make you profit" and will presumably land you in Burger Fool [1] when the fact is that a lot of philosophers are pretty much responsible for the most progressive, radical and even profitable ideas of our time (for one, Aristotle laid the foundations for Natural Science)? It's not all postmodern Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory, and there are logical and useful philosophies out there. Besides, I wouldn't have survived secondary school if I didn't waste my time contemplating whether it is to be or not to be, or not made friends if it wasn't for debating, or study the human mind.
    • In Aristotle's time, the term "philosophy" encompassed all science. There was so little of it. Don't confuse them with modern philosophers.
    • In general, most of the people you mention either were known for some other part of their education, or used their degree seem more knowledgeable. In the second case, they are likely to have just bought their degrees.
  • I hate the implication that the most important thing you should care about in uni is how much money you'll make later in life. God forbid somebody actually be interested in something like Medieval French Poetry and seize the chance to study it in depth. Let's all go to business school instead!
    • True enough, but my kids aren't living with me forever because they decided to get a degree in some artsy fartsy study. Just saying.
      • And I'm not going to study "the best ways of believable storytelling" because:
        • a) i don't want to live with my parents forever.
        • b) I've got TV Tropes for that, now I need a job that will pay the internet-bill. Same goes for Philosophy, all Socrates ever did to revolutionize philosophy was small talk.
    • Ironically, a general business degree (not to be confused with more specialized degrees such as accounting, or economics) is actually one of the most useless degrees out there, and most MBA programs that will actually enhance your career prospects accept only students who have already had work experience.
  • It seems that as college gets more and more expensive leaving new graduates with more and more debt, viewing postsecondary education as a capital investment is inevitable.

Also, if you want to study something non-profitable

  • No degree is truly useless, because every field yields at least one kind of job: jobs in the university. True, these are increasingly competitive and nobody should embark on an academic career path without being really sure of what they want. But nonetheless, there are jobs... and they pay pretty well, at least one reaches the tenure track.
  • In fact, as someone with several degrees in useless who nonetheless makes more money at the age of 30 than his parents did between them in their best year, I can firmly declare this trope to be utter bullshit.
    • Yes, because one entirely anonymous person on the internet says he makes money, everyone else who has these degrees but is working at Starbucks must be imagining things.
      • Nobody would deny that there is such a thing as the overeducated, underemployed person. But that's not what's at issue here: what's at issue is whether or not there is such a thing as a degree in useless. There isn't. It's pure anti-intellectualism.
      • I must have missed the part where Tropes reflect the absolute truth 100% of the time rather than be storytelling patterns and tools based loosely on real life.
        I mean, did you read the trope page? Particularly the bit where it says that it's totally possible to be successful with these, but fiction tends to ignore that?
      • 'All' of the proceeding discussions on the headscratchers page have dealt with real life, not fiction. If you want to wipe them all out and start from scratch, be my guest.
      • Honestly that's not a bad idea. These pages aren't supposed to be for people complaining about real life.
      • I don't disagree. A judicious application of the "headscratching is not complaining" rule would mean the erasure of many, many of these boards.
  • It is curious that fiction (etc. http://www.holytaco.com/the-10-most-worthless-college-majors/) trots out communications as a useless degree, as in The Simpsons example. Job ads for the Canadian government routinely describe three degrees as most desirable for potential government employees: sociology, statistics, and, you guessed it, communications.

Notes

  1. I would rather brave the streets like Diogenes of Sinope or retreat to the forest as a hermit rather than that