Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
STUDENT LIFE / JAN. 06, 2015
version 11, draft 11

10 Master’s Degrees that Won’t Get You a Job in the Modern World

Beautiful Female College Graduate Holding Diploma

If you’re aspiring toward a higher degree, you’d better choose carefully before paying a premium price for an expensive education that won’t help you advance your career. While some master’s degrees will provide you with job security and higher pay, some definitely won’t.

While it is possible to become a teacher for any of these professions, that may be the only place you’re going to land a steady-paying gig – and for that, you may not need a higher degree at all.

All of the jobs listed here are expected to have slower-than-average job growth through the next decade – meaning their prospects are pretty poor indeed.

1. Music

Gone are the days when large bands played live during movies, and at the local dance hall – and even when they did, musicians tended to earn low pay. With public schools cutting music programs, the prospects are even worse.

2. Theatre

Actors don’t need a master’s degree to start working on the stage, and with the demand for live theatre on the wane, expect the jobs that are available to be highly competitive.

3. Journalism

The Internet age – and the rise of online publications – brought on a serious drop in prospects for journalists. For this profession, a bachelor’s may be all you need to get started, but once again, expect serious competition for any full-time or formal jobs out there.

4. Art History

Unless you want to teach art in a college or to start your own gallery, don’t expect to find many employers clamoring for your expertise in art history.

5. Literature

If you want to be a writer, start writing, and read the great works of the world on your own. If you want to teach literature, get your master’s degree in it and then be ready for stiff competition for college teaching jobs. For jobs teaching English at high school level, you’ll only need a bachelor’s.

6. Fine Arts

Once again, if you want to be a painter or a sculptor, your talent and ambition will be more crucial to your success than a master’s degree. If you do find part-time work teaching fine art at a college, it will probably be very low-paying work that won’t allow you time to focus on your own artwork.

7. Philosophy

Study philosophy at the master’s level and you’ll be among a few elite who have extensive knowledge on the subject – and who only find work in the hallowed halls of colleges and universities.

8. Dance

If you aspire to a career in dance, your time may be better spent starting your own company or working under the wing of an established company, instead of studying dance at the master’s level.

9. Latin

Latin forms the basis of many European languages, but since no one speaks it anymore, it’s hardly a highly sought-after course in college classrooms.

10. Women’s Studies

Earning a higher degree in women’s studies may put you at the forefront of women’s issues, but it’s not going to translate into a high-paying career. Of the few universities that offer this as a master’s degree, it’s sometimes combined with degrees in social work or international relations, making it a more viable option for actually getting a job.

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