What to do with a Classics Degree? We’re Number 10!

We’re constantly hearing about the uselessness of what we do in the real world and I’m always on the lookout, as can be seen from the page in our header bar, looking for folks who have had success with a Classics degree in the real world. But I have to admit I was gobsmacked in a major way when this item from Newsweek crossed my email box … it’s entitled “The 13 Most Useful College Majors (as Determined by Science) ” … it gets better … they gloss “useful”  as:

*Useful, for our purposes, is defined by majors most likely to lead to less unemployment and higher earnings, and which are in industries projected to grow in the next decade according to research from Georgetown University and data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Anyhoo, here’s the list … check out #10!

The 13 Most Useful* College Majors (As Determined By Science)

1. Nursing

2. Mechanical Engineering

3. Electrical Engineering

4. Civil Engineering

5. Computer Science

6. Finance

7. Marketing and Marketing Research

8. Mathematics

9. Accounting

10. French, German, Latin, and other Common Foreign Languages

11. General Business

12. Elementary Education

13. Economics

All the things link to a slideshowish thing at the Daily Beast, which has some interesting stats for the 10 category:

10. French, German, Latin, and other Common Foreign Languages

Unemployment, recent grad: 7.9%
Unemployment, experienced grad: 4.8%
Earnings, recent grad: $32,000
Earnings, experienced grad: $50,000
Projected growth, 2010-2020: 42%
Related occupation: Interpreters and Translators

I expect to see this clipped and posted on every departmental bulletin board and a link on every departmental website within, say, the next hour. ;)

UPDATE (a few minutes later) ... just to curb our enthusiasm a bit, their previous entry (The 13 Most Useless College Majors (As Determined By Science)) includes History and Archaeology … oh well, small victories (or better: stress the languages when you’re applying for a job!)

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2 thoughts on “What to do with a Classics Degree? We’re Number 10!

  1. Me: Latin degree + 5.5 years Ancient Greek.
    Salary: low six figures.
    Why? Because human languages are SO MUCH HARDER than computer languages.
    Summary: If you can handle a dual aorist optative middle you can handle anything. Take that degree and go into tech *if* you can’t find a job in Classics.

  2. Sorry but there must be something wrong witht the statistics. In the UK unemployment may be considered low, but this is because roughly 50 per cent are either in interships or on some voluntary postition (both unpaid) or working part time (seriously underpaid). 25 per cent have some kind of employment and the other 25 per cent is pursuing postgrad studies in order to attain higher levels of unemployment!

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