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useless degree - future fit

What can I do with a useless Degree? 14 Career Ideas

Depending on who you ask, some people believe that there are useless degrees while others don’t — it is truly all about their perspective.

You must remember that spending time pursuing a degree, regardless of how useless people think it is, is never a waste. These degrees often become additional learning opportunities and give you a broader perspective on life.

Some of these degrees, like liberal arts, philosophy, music, archaeology, fashion, dance, humanities, film, and others, that most people consider useless is quite significant as they help with personal growth, understanding of the government, and art and cultural appreciation.

Also read: a list of 20+ useless degrees

I can tell you this from experience, I got a Degree in Foreign Languages and Literature because I loved travelling for work.

But once started, I realised this degree wasn’t teaching me any skill required to do a proper travelling job. Or that I could have gotten a well-paid job without a degree in the first place.

Don’t worry, there are plenty of jobs you can do with any degree, even the useless ones. In most cases, you need to take a course.

The most value I got from my humanities degree was to start loving learning, which is part of my everyday job now, so I wouldn’t consider it useless, but rather useful in an unexpected way.

However, the reality is that people with these degrees usually have a harder time landing good-paying jobs. Yes, they help with personal growth, but they do not offer any job or entrepreneurship training, and bills must be paid, right?

Another reason these degrees are called useless is that college tuition is quite expensive, and it no longer balances with industry earnings.

So, what to do? if you already have one of these degrees (let’s refer to them as challenging instead of useless) and want to find out what you can do with it, keep reading.

This article will provide different ideas you can use to ensure that you get the best out of your challenging degree and get a good-paying job, enabling you to pay your bills and then some.

So, let’s get right to it, shall we?

12+ Ideas on What to Do With a Useless Degree

1. Supplement Your Degree with Courses and Certifications

As stated earlier, no education is wasted.

Your degree may not help you get your desired job, but it lays the foundation for you to get supplement training. You can take suitable courses and certifications, whether online or physically, to increase your marketability and chances of getting your desired job.

These courses and certifications provide industry-specific training that will improve your current processes and put you ahead of the curve.

They also show prospective employers that you are willing to improve yourself continuously – a good and attractive trait to employers.

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You do not necessarily have to only look for jobs directly associated with your degree. You can look at the offered jobs and tailor your resume and approach towards getting it. You also don’t need to limit yourself to only jobs related to your degree – you can broaden your search scope.

For example, with a degree in English, you can work as a content writer, technical writer, public relations professional or marketing specialist. With a psychology degree, you can also work in human resources, immigration, or as a market analyst.

This shows that all you have to do is research and find the different career options related to your degree.

3. Set Yourself Apart (Be Unique)

Sometimes, your uniqueness (your degree, in this case) can set you apart from others applying for the same role.

Once you can get past the computerized algorithm that helps in the first stage selection process, you can use your differences to your advantage.

Rather than try to compete on the level of others, sell yourself, your differences, and why you would be a good addition to the time. This often works as workplaces are always looking for innovators and disrupters that will bring something new to the table.

4. Highlight Your Strengths

You should focus on your strengths when applying for a job, especially if you lack the required technical knowledge. Instead of emphasizing the skills you don’t have, you can use your degree to your advantage.

For example, you can talk about how your degree (art, philosophy, music, etc.) enables you to have a different perspective on the job you are applying for rather than accentuating the qualifications you don’t have.

Plus, remember that people are marketable, not degrees.

You can also utilize the areas you love the most about your degrees. For example, if you loved the researching or communication part of your degree, you can streamline your job search to jobs heavily centred on these skills. This way, you increase your chances of using your strengths to your advantage.

5. Utilize Your Extensive Knowledge

People with degrees that are often regarded as useless, like social sciences, arts, and humanities, usually have a different and comprehensive perspective on things, which can be used to your advantage. Yes, some of these degrees don’t offer job training, but they offer transferable skills from borrowing wisdom from several disciplines.

These transferrable skills include communication, listening, writing, emotional intelligence, and others. So, even though these challenging degrees don’t often offer quantitative skills, these otherwise qualitative skills make you a force in the workplace.

This means assessing the skills that you can use in the role you are applying for and ensuring that it remains at the forefront of your application. Besides, your degree doesn’t matter; what is most important is how you integrate your knowledge into your desired career path.

6. Learn Technical Skills

As much as you can prove that you have the potential to get the job you desire, some of them still require technical skills. Sometimes, you must also provide quantifiable proof of competence to your potential employer, especially if you are applying for technical roles.

For example, a developer needs to know programming languages, and a data analyst needs to understand statistics. Also, it is not enough to take courses that will teach these skills; you need to show that you are competent.

You need to have a portfolio ready to showcase your skills, increasing your chances of getting a job regardless of your degree.

7. Find an Internship

Internships are essential as they offer marketable experiences to help you with your desired career. While most internships pay a stipend, you must also be willing to take unpaid internships – here, you can get real-life work experience but with no pay. It is always best to have an emergency fund that will allow you to take these unpaid internships.

You can take an internship unrelated to your desired job, as you can still learn valuable transferable skills. On the other hand, it might be best to just search for internships related to your target career and apply for them.

Additionally, if you do a good job at your internship and there is an open position, your chances of getting the job are high.

Internships also increase your chances of getting other jobs, showing prospective employers that you are willing to do the job, paid or unpaid.

8. Look For Volunteer Opportunities

If you cannot get an internship that will enable you to build your portfolio, look for volunteer opportunities that will enable you to combine all your skills. For example, you can volunteer to help with your church newsletter or bulletin or develop a website for your community.

By volunteering, you can get experience that proves to some employers that you are competent.

Volunteering also showcases your interest in building soft skills like mentorship, self-awareness, and time management, developing hard skills, and helping different organizations. Besides, volunteer opportunities can turn into paid jobs that will help your career progression.

9. Sell yourself well with your Resume and Cover Letter

What most colleges that teach these challenging degrees fail to do is get their students ready for the outside world. By teaching them about marketing their artistic talent to make it profitable, they reduce the number of graduates that end up under or unemployed.

This means that you need to learn how to sell yourself and network, enabling you to get the best out of your degree — and it all starts with your resume and cover letter.

Your CV and cover letter are your prospective employer’s first impression of you.

So, it must showcase the best version of your skills and expertise regardless of whether you hate your current job or want to switch careers.

For example, your CV should showcase all skills and experiences relevant to the role, whether volunteer work or internships.

10. Memberships

There are different types of memberships – academic and professional memberships. Academic memberships are usually attained after getting a certain GPA, while the professional just involves being a member of an industry-recognized organization.

These memberships can go a long way in ensuring that you get a good-paying job with your otherwise useless degree. As a member, you will be able to grow your professional network and experiences, which will increase your chances of getting your dream career.

11. Highlight Your Personality during Interviews

Your personality might just be why you land your target job after your interview. So, it is best always to show off your best personality. Hiring managers are always looking for candidates that are pleasant to work with, and by showcasing good interpersonal skills during your interview, you increase your chances.

Besides, you can allow the hiring manager to get to know you better by revealing some of your interests.

12. Be a Culture Fit

It can be nice to be different from others, but sometimes you must ensure that you fit into the culture of the place and industry you want to work in. Do your research on the workplace and industry to ensure that it is one that you would enjoy working in.

This is because sometimes, what might look great on paper may not feel great in reality.

For example, if you are applying to a workplace with required workplace attire and strict deadlines, you may not be a culture fit if you are more laid back and relaxed.

13. Get a Supplementary Degree

A good way to turn your useless degree into a respected job market commodity is by getting a supplementary degree. This can be in the form of going to graduate school or getting a completely new degree.

However, you should not get a supplementary degree simply because you cannot find a job.

Rather, get an additional degree to increase your chances of getting your target job. Besides, a supplementary degree is quite different from online courses and certifications as they require rigorous theoretical and practical teaching that the latter cannot replicate.

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14. Become an Entrepreneur

As an art, history, or philosophy major, rather than trying to fit yourself into the box of supplementing your degree with other courses, you can decide to use your degree. You can start a business with your degree, whether it’s to sell your art or start a consultancy business. You must learn the basics of entrepreneurship and ensure that you are doing it for the right reasons.

Wrapping It Up

There is no such thing as a useless degree; there are just degrees that are not as marketable as others. So, if you find yourself with any of these challenging degrees, you must follow one or more of the steps highlighted above to get the best out of your degree.