The 10 Most Useless Graduate Degrees

In many fields, graduate degrees offer distinct benefits for your extra years in school.

Employees armed with a graduate education are often a more attractive hire, and can make a higher salary than colleagues who just have a bachelor’s degree.

However, for some industries the potential benefits of going to graduate school are comparatively low, and potentially do not offer enough better job prospects to justify the investment.

Using this summer’s “Hard Times” report from the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce, we examined salary and unemployment data relating to experienced college graduates and graduate degree holders.

We calculated the per cent difference in how much more money a graduate degree will bring, as well as how much of a better chance you will have of finding a job. These figures were then combined to determine which graduate degrees are the most useless.

While the vast majority of graduate degrees will give you an edge, not all are created equal — and some graduate degree holders face a sharp rise in unemployment for their new job prospects.

#10 Human Resources and Personnel Development

Experienced College Grad Earnings: $US57,000
Graduate Degree Holder Earnings: $US70,000

Experienced College Grad Unemployment: 5.9%
Graduate Degree Holder Unemployment: 5.1%

#9 Criminal Justice and Fire Protection

Experienced College Grad Earnings: $56,000
Graduate Degree Holder Earnings: $66,000

Experienced College Grad Unemployment:4.6%

Graduate Degree Holder Unemployment:4.1%

#8 Commercial Art and Graphic Design

Experienced College Grad Earnings: $50,000
Graduate Degree Holder Earnings: $61,000

Experienced College Grad Unemployment:6.7%

Graduate Degree Holder Unemployment:6.4%

#7 Music

Experienced College Grad Earnings: $46,000
Graduate Degree Holder Earnings: $55,000

Experienced College Grad Unemployment: 5.1%

Graduate Degree Holder Unemployment:4.8%

#6 Mass Media

Experienced College Grad Earnings: $51,000
Graduate Degree Holder Earnings: $53,000

Experienced College Grad Unemployment:7.9%

Graduate Degree Holder Unemployment:6.2%

#5 Marketing and Market Research

Experienced College Grad Earnings: $65,000
Graduate Degree Holder Earnings: $81,000

Experienced College Grad Unemployment:5.8%

Graduate Degree Holder Unemployment:5.9%

#4 Chemical Engineering

Experienced College Grad Earnings: $94,000
Graduate Degree Holder Earnings: $102,000

Experienced College Grad Unemployment:3.1%

Graduate Degree Holder Unemployment:2.8%

#3 Information Systems

Experienced College Grad Earnings: $66,000
Graduate Degree Holder Earnings: $81,000

Experienced College Grad Unemployment:4.4%

Graduate Degree Holder Unemployment:5.4%

#2 Pharmacy Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration

Experienced College Grad Earnings: $108,000
Graduate Degree Holder Earnings: $110,000

Experienced College Grad Unemployment:2.5%

Graduate Degree Holder Unemployment:2.9%

#1 Language and Drama Education

Experienced College Grad Earnings: $44,000
Graduate Degree Holder Earnings: $58,000

Experienced College Grad Unemployment:4.6%

Graduate Degree Holder Unemployment:12.3%

Want a degree that'll definitely give you a leg up?

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