Every Major’s Terrible

Over two years ago I warned Don’t Destory Your Sex Rank By Stupid Educational Choices. That message still stands as is. The TL/DR version being, “Don’t get in debt for a college degree you don’t use and end up working at Starbucks. Chicks don’t dig guys like that.”

However there’s some interesting stats in a recent Huffington Post article…

The number of PhD recipients on food stamps and other forms of welfare more than tripled between 2007 and 2010 to 33,655, according to an Urban Institute analysis cited by the Chronicle of Higher Education. The number of master’s degree holders on food stamps and other forms of welfare nearly tripled during that same time period to 293,029, according to the same analysis.


All of these factors, plus a less-than-stellar job market, have forced many PhDs to work in menial jobs. There are 5,057 janitors with PhDs, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data cited by the Houston Chronicle.

Adding in another Huffing Post link…

Of all those who have graduated college since 2006, only 51 percent have a full-time job, according to a Rutgers University study released Thursday. Eleven percent are unemployed or not working at all.

The situation is even more dire for those who have graduated since 2009. Fewer than half of college graduates from those years found their first job within 12 months of graduating, much less than the 73 percent of those who graduated from 2006 to 2008. Those who graduated since 2009 are three times more likely to not have found a full-time job than those from the classes of 2006 through 2008.

Adding to that dissatisfaction, 55 percent graduate with student loan debt averaging $20,000, according to the study. One in four recent graduates with student loan debt have made no progress paying it off.

So while I’m not saying never go to college, and yes indeed it is a down economy with jobs harder to come by, but if you are young you have to disabuse yourself of the notion that getting a college degree is as cool as finding one of Willy Wonka’s Golden Tickets. Or maybe that’s a bad example seeing actually finding a Golden Ticket led to near fatal results for 4 of the 5 “lucky” children.

In short, if you botch your educational choice, it creates a huge structural problem in your life that takes years, or decades to work through and resolve. Right in your most fertile and spouse seeking years. The Red Pill understanding being that the educational institutions are in the business of marketing and selling education, and you as a student are a consumer of that educational product. So caveat emptor.

Anyway, it’s not quite this bad…

I’m just saying you don’t want to be a M.Something or a Ph.D on food stamps is all. You can trade your food stamps for other things of value of course, but Top Shelf Vagina (TM) isn’t one of them.

Oh yeah. If you get in a relationship with a woman that happens to have a degree in Under-Water Basket Weaving, you can bet your food stamps she’s going to be interested in getting pregnant and staying home with the kids just as quick as she can. Which may suit you just fine of course. Just throwing it out there.


  1. Mike M. says:

    In other words, STEM professionals are the new Uber-Alpha men. Sounds good to me! (being equipped with a degree in Aerospace Engineering and considerable career experience…and single)

  2. Here’s the xkcd comic the song came from: http://xkcd.com/1052/

  3. Vae Victus says:

    Spending time and money to get a college degree in ANY field is a waste. The jobs aren’t there. Saps who go on to get their Masters and/or PhD are just trying to avoid the real world.

    Employment and wages are also down for STEM grads in the U.S. After all, the government lets universities import Indian and Chinese students, both graduate and undergraduate, and most of them don’t return to their home country after they graduate. They are also willing to accept lower wages just to avoid going back. Increased supply plus downward wage pressure = new Uber-Beta Gamma men…

  4. Beeping Slooty says:

    This is excellent advice, Athol. I tend to agree with the first commenter, Mike M., but the employment situation is vastly different and more competitive now for a variety of reasons.
    My children are still in elementary school, so who knows what the job market will look like in 10 years when they are getting ready to start working, but when that time comes it might make more sense for them to pursue a vocation such as plumbing or auto mechanics rather than an MBA.
    There are lots and lots of families in my area with grown children who have graduated from college now coming back home to live with the parents because they just can’t find work. I see parents scrimping and saving to fork out big bucks for college tuition, for little apparent return.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I just finished reading Aaron Clarey’s “Worthless: The Indispensable Guide to Choosing the Right Major”, after seeing that Roosh reviewed it. Clarey is a strong supporter of STEM degrees, and professions that add value to the world, as opposed to wishy-washy polisci, humanities and (eek!) gender studies degrees that will only allow you to work at McD’s. Definitely worth a read if you’re considering college or have a kid that’s finishing high school.

  6. Keep in mind that if you decide to “settle down” with that underwater basket-weaver the moment the ring goes on you’re on the hook for her educational debt.

    Which is certainly a consideration for a man who’s of a mind to start a family.

  7. horseman says:

    As a 25 year HR manager I have never seen the glut of white collar candidates. and the canadian economy is so much better. Trades however we are dying for. Welders in the oil fields start at 80k. My farrier is 24.. 16 week course and she charges 40 per horse. at 4 per hour thats good money. in this area in eastern ontario there is a waiting list for to get a farrier and horses need done every two months. good money.
    at work I am hiring RNs and dietitians before they graduare. last week needed 2, 4candidates would take the interview. Onlh one didnt have a job a week later when i went to offer and thats at 59k start.
    Want a job and the benwfits. qork with your hands providing a service people can see and usw. not moving paper.

  8. Mike M. says:

    Horseman brings up a good point. STEM is great, but an engineering program is not for everyone. Skilled craftsmen are also in demand.

  9. Great article, this week I was talking with coworkers about their kids and nephews/nieces and what they were looking to get into. One coworker’s kid wanted to major in History and be a professor, “I’m sorry” I told her. Unless you have some complementary double major (a friend of mine graduated with a History/Japanese language degree and went to Japan to work, plus he had an asian fetish) the jobs you are likely to get are shit. This approach (like Captain Capitalism who posts on this stuff all the time) is in the back of my mind as my kids get older. I’d prefer a skilled trade (have two BIL electricians) where they pay for your school to apprentice, over a worthless degree. With that said, the right college degree can still be worth it, I’m talking mostly engineering, computers, electronics, medicine, pharmacy, chemistry.. something that can be used for something instead of history or underwater basket weaving.

  10. Changed Man says:

    “Spending time and money to get a college degree in ANY field is a waste. The jobs aren’t there. Saps who go on to get their Masters and/or PhD are just trying to avoid the real world.”

    I think this is a bit over the top and not remotely the point Athol is trying to make. Recent studies still prove that your better off with an advanced education, whether it’s college or a trade school, provided you pick a career/skill that is in good demand. Contrary to ‘convention wisdom’, STEM work is coming back. I’ve seen several reports and articles claiming that outsourcing is on the decline and jobs are returning to the U.S. because many of the early adopting companies have realized that the logistics of outsourcing technical work is a PITA and the product they get is often crap.

  11. pdwalker says:

    From the ever wonderful web comic xkcd: http://xkcd.com/1052/, just released 4 days ago

  12. Supply and demand set labor price equilibrium. STEM degrees are difficult, restricting supply. An easy degree like marketing or literature are going to increase supply by becoming fall back choices. Supply of labor in trades has decreased while demand in healthcare pushes up nursing salaries.  Bottom line I am telling my kids is figure out what they enjoy doing and then research what gets paid the most in that field.  Oh and I’m not helping pay for fluff classes like music appreciation, there are other options for required humanities like foreign languages.  My parents did the same with me I ended up Fin/Econ and have never wanted for a job, doing quant analysis wherever I wanted to live. My sibling is a Dr. with the same freedom.   In state tuition at a major research univ is still a subsidized bargain. 

  13. The problem is the costs of a higher education have outweighed the benefits. That is unless you are pursuing a an eduction that has a practical or professional application. Law, Nursing, Accounting, Engineering etc…

    A general education, what we in Canada would call a Bachelor of Arts, is becoming less and less beneficial because the costs to get that degree are not balanced by the benefit of getting a good paying job afterward.

    Where I live, trade labour is scarce. So if someone is willing to work physcially they can choose to go to a technical school and become an electrician or whatever and earn $100K+ after four years. University students leave school with huge debt loads and are lucky to get a job let alone one that will pay six figures after four years.

  14. I saw a stat that said 80% of the graduating class of 2011 moved back home immediately after graduation. OUCH.
    My husband makes a 6 figure salary and has no degree.
    Two of our friends that are far wealthier than us have no degree and own their own trade businesses. (One plumbing, the other HVAC.)
    I think a degree definitely has it’s place if you’re going into medicine or something, but when I recently got a graduation invitation from my nephew that said “Bachelor of Arts in Rhetoric” from one of the most expensive colleges around, I did a face palm.

  15. As America slips into decline, the only ones who’ll thrive are old network, financial types.

    Even aerospace engineers will be outsourced to India. Medical doctors will not be paid to aid the poor, but large groups will compete to do facelifts for Donald Trump’s 12th trophy wife for the going wage of $400 – take it or leave it; there’s 3,739 other starving doctors.

    The motive is not to mock those less fortunate without math skills, for you will make them angry when they break into your fallout shelter to kill you for your matches.

  16. Ok, a word of warning – don’t pick a major just cause the job makes a bunch of money either! Seriously, you spend your LIFE at work; make sure it’s something you enjoy…

    That being said, mine is in Genetics and I’ve yet to have trouble finding a solid job, but I am considering med school just so I can make more money…

  17. Johnny C says:

    Of course it sucks to be a PhD on food stamps, but is it really that much better to still be on food stamps with No degree?

    Of course there is a huge middle area of options between the extremes, but it’s difficult for me to grasp the idea that those with no education would have any easier time finding the well-paying jobs that require no education. Strike that- I CAN see that in a way, but it’s more based on genetics ( and/or environmental factors) than the mere CHOICE to go to school or not. What I mean is, perhaps the type of person who tends to not get a degree in the first place is also the type of person who is equipped to do well in the trades or possesses some other skill ( charisma, maybe) that allows him to navigate the culture of different-educated survival. Whereas, the type of person who naturally gravitates toward and expects to graduate college, at a minimum, has a very difficult time fitting in with and thriving in different-skilled environments. Sometimes, its a sense of entitlement, Yes- a ” I’m a highly-educated intelligent person. I shouldn’t have to perform labor” arrogant outlook, but not always. I’ve observed ( and interviewed) trades/occupations/companies that definitely look down on and discriminate against anyone with an education, an IQ around 115 or higher, and/or a certain demeanor. Even most trades require some sort of education and have other barriers to entry, such as knowing or being related to the “right” people or not being “book learnin’ folk,” and so on.

    The type of guy on food stamps with a PhD is not likely to be better off if he had made the decision to not attend college, IMHO. Perhaps if he decided at a very young age to not care about education and fit into that sort of culture- like the stereotyped ( because some of it true) “urban” youth who dislike school and believe they are better off trying to be rappers or pro athletes. He’s probably just going to be even more hopeless because he’s stuck in between 2 extremes but can’t fit into either.

  18. I like the Canadian representation today. I got the liberal arts degree (Political Science) got a job right away with the army as an infantry officer and have never looked back. I have since worked as a construction superintendent and now do energy sector project management. There are so many factors that decide where you will land. Don’t be fooled by the thought a kid has to be in a house they bought and going on trips every year in their twenties. That was our model, the times are changing.

    I hope my kids go STEM but really I just want them to be good at something. Worst case scenario they learn to basket weave. Hopefully I can instill the desire to create and build something of their own.

  19. “Spending time and money to get a college degree in ANY field is a waste. The jobs aren’t there. Saps who go on to get their Masters and/or PhD are just trying to avoid the real world.”

    Cough. It is my experience that men without degrees tend to put down men & women who do because they are intimidated. It takes time, money, perseverence, dedication, and brains to start and finish extra schooling. Same goes for those who learn a trade like plumbing or electrician’s work. It is not for the lazy or stupid or fuck-ups.

    So yes, go to college and major in whatever you want, but do a double and also get the degree in business (learn how to start your own company). You are not going to be a pleasant person to marry if you are in HVAC when your dream was to go into law.

  20. horseman says:

    My daughter has a great plan. 2 years trade scbool to be a funeral director. in demand and pays well. that is her fall back. after that she goes back for a BA in whatever to see what she wants to do whote collar wise. she can always fall back on the first degree to pay the bills. if she finds something else great. if not a two year 10k investment keeps her fed if the other degree tanks.
    p.s. i hire weekly often out of scbool. i loom for a work ethic because i know they have no experience but sifting thru the entitlement entality is killer. 5 years in school.gets you the right to interview nothing more.

  21. Ha, ha, ha . . . I love this discussion. This is a major issue. Lots of considerations here, but for me I think less about supply and demand and more about this simple truth: Useful people make good livings. No matter how highly you think of yourself, odds are that if you’re not making good money, then you’re probably useless. I know welders that make a $100K a year counting overtime. I personally no a really good, reliable handy-man (I mean everything from cutting lawns to hanging blinds and changing the oil in ol’ ladies’ cars) that rides around in a pickup truck helping folks with odd jobs, and this dude makes $55K. A good automotive mechanic can rake in money hand over fist. The trick is, there is no trick. Work hard at damn near anything that matters, and be USEFUL. If you’re working hard, but still broke, then most likely you’re useless and a neutered hipster could do your job. What was old is new again! Read Ben Franklin, Napoleon Hill, Dale Carnegie and get inspired to kick some ass.

  22. Don’t forget that if you go the preprofessional school route, you have to be honest with yourself about what your chances actually are to get into that school. People know they can’t find jobs with a bachelor’s degree anymore and so everyone with half a chance is applying to med school/nursing school/whatever will put them straight down the pipeline for a job. If you do a bachelor’s in biology with no research or teaching focus, and you don’t get into medical/optometry/dental school, you are highly likely to be in the group that can’t find a job within a year. In 2011, only about 44% of med school applicants actually got accepted anywhere. This is especially important if you have a liberal arts major and your fallback is “oh I’ll just go to law school.”

    I would also add that you should not go to preprofessional school (or pressure your child to) unless there is passion for the job that can be tapped into. The amount of debt you must undertake ensures that you have to do whatever your degree is in for at least 5-10 years, barring extraordinary circumstances. Something has to get you through the school and the training and the paying back student loans.

  23. Angeline says:

    I’d like to point out that you can’t get an engineering job without the degree. Yeah, it’s a piece of paper, but one that demonstrates a high level of achievement and commitment. And the variety of job where you can use that degree is amazing. People think of engineering as too much math, but it results in jobs where you really get to use the problem-solving, puzzle-loving part of our brains that all humans have. We do a serious disservice to our kids not to insist on a high level of math/science competence from grade school on up, giving them more options and better grades whatever field they go into.

    And seriously parents with kids of any age – get over the idea that the pearly shining gates of Harvard, etc. will guarantee lifetime employment. State schools with reasonable tuition, kids live at home – less chance to party it up on your dime – and also more incentive to finish and get the hell out from under your thumb. A sensible, practical college degree is still a good path to employment. I’d also disagree that they must looove what they do. That’s for hobbies, or whatever secondary degree the kids want to fund on their own. Most 18 year olds don’t have enough self-knowledge to pick a life’s work that they will love. That will likely come later. Get the degree and get out of school with minimal debt. Make sure the kid has a chunk of that debt in their own name, and make sure you don’t risk your own retirement to provide them with some idealized vision of 4 years in a dorm with a life-changing college “experience”.

    For the parent above with younger kids, start expecting excellence in math and science now. Don’t buy the line that some kids just aren’t cut out for it. Some kids aren’t cut out for taking baths or cleaning their rooms, either. We still expect it. School, life, work are not going to be unmitigated fun. Get that trope out of your heads, and out of theirs, as soon as you can.

  24. Angeline, that last paragraph of yours is so sorely needed. That is the sort of truth that today’s young people desperately need. My point about usefulness agrees with yours about facing reality. Forget the b.s. line that everyday ought be a picnic, and adopt the Jewish concept that no matter who you’re working for, you’re really always working for yourself. Learn how to do something that the majority of folks can’t, practice that obsessively, and serve people with an eye toward getting wealthy, and holy crap, it’ll happen!

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