The 20 most useless college degrees

This list of the most useless college majors by The Daily Beast will likely irritate supporters of arts and the humanities -- and offer an opportunity to gloat for those who see a college education merely as a ticket to a good job.

At the top, of course, is the obvious: journalism, where jobs like mine dwindle even as the Internet grows.

But chemistry?

And here's a doozy for the U:

Create a More Connected Minnesota

MPR News is your trusted resource for the news you need. With your support, MPR News brings accessible, courageous journalism and authentic conversation to everyone - free of paywalls and barriers. Your gift makes a difference.

3: Agriculture

Median starting salary: $42,300

Median mid-career salary: $59,700

Change in number of jobs, 2008-2018: -9,100

Percentage Change in number of jobs, 2008-2018: -0.88

Undergraduate field of study: Agriculture and natural resources

Number of students awarded degrees 2008-2009:: 24,988

Here's the full list:

  1. Journalism

  2. Horticulture

  3. Agriculture

  4. Advertising

  5. Fashion design

  6. Child and family studies

  7. Music

  8. Mechanical engineering technology

  9. Chemistry

  10. Nutrition

  11. Human resources

  12. Theater

  13. Art history

  14. Photography

  15. Literature

  16. Art

  17. Fine arts

  18. Psychology

  19. English

  20. Animal science

You can check out the whole list in this slideshow.

Here's how The Daily Beast compiled its ranking of the most useless college majors:

To find the most useless degrees college students can get with their four years and hundreds of thousands of dollars, we wanted to know which majors offer not only the fewest job opportunities, but those that tend to pay the least. The Daily Beast considered the following data points, weighted equally, with each degree’s numbers compared to the average for each category, to achieve a categorical comparison that accounts for differentiation from the mean. Data are from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Payscale:

• Starting and mid-career salary levels, using the profession most associated with the degree.

• The expected change in the total number of jobs from 2008-2018.

• The expected percentage change in available jobs from 2008-2018.