Maybe you’ve been wondering if you’ve acquired a useless university degree? Actually, they’re some degrees that are termed “useless” because they won’t be relevant in the next 10 years. These university degrees may be relevant today but will be obsolete in a few years to come.
The recent development in science has rendered a lot of degrees useless. In the next 10 years, artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics, nanotechnology, 3D printing, genetics and biotechnology, will cause widespread disruption to labour markets.
Since most degrees translate to jobs after graduation, what you choose to study at the university will also be affected by these advancements in technology. Therefore, it is important to avoid useless degrees – a list, of course, that will likely be very subjective.
10 Most Useless University Degrees
Today, we bring you 10 most useless university degrees in the next 10 years. Hopefully, this will help someone make a smarter career decision.
If your goal is to one day become a professional musician, learning about its history and the musical terms and instruments is not going to accelerate your success.
In fact, ask any successful musician how they made it in the music industry and they are likely to attribute their success to a wide combination of factors: luck, hard work, stage experience and practice. The one thing they won’t have relied on is an expensive music degree.
However, there are exceptions. Classical musicians, in particular, require theory-heavy tuition. But unless you’ve been offered a place in one of the most prestigious performance schools in the world, you’ll be more likely to end up teaching music than performing it for a living. You may want to spend the money on equipment – or an alternative student experience – instead.
2. Banking Degree
I bet you’re surprised to see banking degree among the list of useless degree that won’t be relevant in the next 10 years. Well, the truth is that with artificial intelligence and other technological advancements, a lot of jobs in the banking industry will become redundant.
Subsequently, more people in the banking industry will lose their jobs. If you’re thinking of the future, then why study a degree in a field that is rapidly shrinking. Importantly, this does not mean that banks will be completely run by robots. What we are trying to say is that a lot of banking jobs will no longer be needed in the nearest future. Hence, make your career decision wisely.
3. Marketing Degrees
You’ll agree with me that traditional marketing is already being disrupted with the presence of digital media and marketing technologies. With more technological advances in online marketing, traditional marketing jobs will be negatively affected.
Companies now consider the knowledge of digital marketing and analytic tools and strategies over academic qualification in marketing. If you decide to go to school to study marketing for four years, your knowledge will be outdated by the time you graduate. On the other hand, you can learn digital marketing skills alongside your marketing degree.
4. Art History
Art history is a high niche subject that has already been perceived as being one of those degrees that do not guarantee a well-paying job after graduation. A. I and related technologies only make an already difficult situation worse.
Two researchers from Rutgers University in New Jersey developed a system that uses new machine learning techniques to train algorithms to recognize the artist and style of a fine-art accurately while revealing connections between artists and entire painting styles.
Interestingly, 60 percent of the time the artist was identified and the style of the work was also identified 45 percent of the time. While there is still a lot of room for improvement, in the near future art historians will have artificial intelligence to compete with.
5. Anthropology and Archaeology
At first glance, the study of either anthropology or archaeology are both attractive propositions; they develop sought-after cognitive and analytical skills, are both genuinely interesting subjects.
In fact, studying either anthropology or archaeology doesn’t really offer a realistic career path for a majority (at least not without a doctorate). Some folks even say that there is a reason why there are so few archaeologists around; there is no guarantee of a viable career. This is not meant to dim your burning desire. Rather it is a caveat that you need to heed.
6. Journalism Degree
A once prestigious degree is at a greater risk of becoming useless, thanks or no thanks to contemporary media on one hand and technological advancements on the other hand.
With social media and blogging platform, everyday people are also significantly encroaching into the jobs of journalists. On the other hand, news organizations have started using machine learning algorithms to write their stories.
Forbes magazine already uses an AI tool called Bertie to assist in providing reporters with first drafts and templates for news stories. A Chinese state news outlet, Xinhua, created the first female AI news anchor in November 2018. Jia Jia, a humanoid robot journalist interviewed Kelvin Kelly, the editor of Wired Magazine. This trend is only seeing its early stages. More innovation and ultimately disruption is possible to follow.
7. Accounting degree
According to Forbes report on the future of accounting, it is expected that accounting tasks such as tax, payroll, audits, and banking would be completely automated using Artificial Intelligence. Tasks like invoice payments, bank reconciliations, risk assessments, and time-consuming audit processes will be easier and better handled by accounting software.
While there are arguments that these advancements will help and not hinder accounting, there are still real threats to traditional accounting job roles. Some sources predict that accountant roles will move towards consulting and advising. If that be the case, then fewer traditional accounting jobs will be available.
8. Fashion Design
While a degree in fashion design isn’t such a bad idea, if you choose to study in today’s world, you will need an innate artistic ability, a strong aptitude for creativity and a healthy fear of A.I. This is because the fashion world will not be spared by the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The invasion has begun with advance forces like Stitch Fix.
With this fashion service, to get stylish apparel is to fill out a profile. Your data is analyzed by a machine which help stylist choose pieces that fit your tastes, needs, and budget. You don’t even need to come collect at the store, it gets mailed to you. There will be better versions of Stitch Fix. Only the best designers will survive the onslaught.
9. Studio Arts Degree
Arguably, the idea of studying studio arts is not necessarily stupid, as no painter, sculptor or performer has ever gone out into the world expecting to get rich. Nowadays, technology has driven the world to the edge. Robot artist has been used to create thousands of new, unique images at the touch of a button.
In April 2017, three young French men started an outfit named Obvious. They have been able to produce 11 artworks just by teaching a computer about art history and showing it how to make its work. The first ultra-realistic robot artist named A.Da was launched recently. It is only a matter of time before versions pick up the baton.
10. Law Degree
Law degree is one of the most prestigious degrees in the world today. However, the question is, will law degree be relevant in the next 10 years? Many have not heard of the world’s first robot lawyer called DonotPay.
The robot lawyer was developed in the UK in 2016 and was designed to provide free advice for people looking to contest their parking fines. It mines documents and offers solutions based on a series of simple questions that it asks. You could become a plaintiff on the strength of the documents that it draws up from your answers. The best part is that you get the service for free.
Imagine how many more apps like this would be in operation in the next 10 years. Paralegals will lose jobs and lawyers who have not adjusted their operations run the risk of losing their jobs. Point is, the traditional law degree of yesteryears might soon become redundant if the education system is not disrupted.
In pursuing a university degree, you should think about jobs that existed 10 years ago that are no longer relevant today. Furthermore, you should think about jobs that did not exist 10 years ago that do now.
The smart thing to do is to make career decisions with the future in mind. Many in-demand university degrees today will become obsolete in the next few years to come. The best thing to do is to think ahead and adjust appropriately.