Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Do not listen to believers of “useless degrees”

Photo by Courtesy of Freepik.com
A hand holding a diploma and a graduation cap.

Just like how you are likely to find detractors in your day-to-day life, you are probably going to experience people questioning you on your educational choices. Whether you are a dance major, someone brave enough to do biology, or even if you are taking on a business degree, chances are you have heard at least one person trying to quiz you on your life choices. Wishful thinking says ignoring these people will make them stop, but naysayers love to annoy. What crosses the line entirely and should never be tolerated no matter what your major is, though, is whenever someone tries to tell you that the degree you are pursuing is “useless.”

On the risk of writing at a very personal level, this problem has impacted me directly. Neither of my parents were supportive of my idea for what to do in life or where to go to school – the goal they created for me, without my input, was to be in computer science at a school that would have made me miserable every single day. They balked at the idea that I was going into a major that was not only related to my actual hopes and passions, but was also a long-time dream of mine. My high school physics teacher also complained at random that his communications degree “did nothing for [him],” which did not help matters, either.

But guess what? Ignoring the detractors back then has only helped me. If you had to deal with something similar from your peers, parents or even random people, know that you did not deserve such ignorance towards your personal goals.

Why is this relevant? The same false sentiments that were told to me are still being peddled to others to this day. This is especially the case with YouTubers who focus on trashing post-secondary education in favor of online jobs that are closer to being a “get rich quick” scheme as opposed to an actual, meaningful career. One of these videos landed in my YouTube recommended tab made by someone who goes by Shane Hummus, who frequently posts about how to make money with AI and the best “side-hustles” to make cash without a degree.

It should be no surprise, then, that all his videos that even mention college spurn the idea of even going to a university in the first place. Learning his disdain for higher education made his video on what he considered to be the “most useless” degrees even less credible. He went from being a harsh critic of higher education to being a man who just wanted people to follow the route he’s taken in life. This proved to obviously be the case when he described communications as literally, “how to talk to people.” Even students outside of the school of communication should note that such is not the case at all.

What if knowing that your degree is useful is still not enough to put you at ease? For one, taking the word of someone who wants to sell you their life coach Skillshare plan is not a smart idea. But it is also important to remember that, no matter what your major is, you must fight for your degree.

Passively doing assignments to get a C grade on them while not talking to any like-minded people with similar goals as you will only hurt you. The same is true if you don’t network with anybody in the field you hope to be a part of, as you will then have nobody that can vouch for your skills. Graduating will help you get places, but that on its own can only take you so far. We have all heard this same kind of messaging right from the beginning, and as annoying as it may be, it is all true. We have the tools to make sure our degrees are not “useless,” so we should all use them.

Not only will you then have a higher chance to do what you want and succeed, but you will also be able to disprove your naysayers and the college-hating content farms on YouTube. Besides, there is no expensive Skillshare plan with some random guy yelling at you  for “how to succeed” required for that, either.

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