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What to do with a useless degree

Category: Career Development

When you earn a degree, you want more than just an education. It's reasonable to expect a return on your investment. Unfortunately, certain degrees don't always lead to the job opportunities and financial rewards you want.

While some degrees seem far less fruitful than others (hello, B.A. in Poetry!), any college degree is useful, as long as you know how to transform it into a valuable commodity. Read on for tips on how to make the most of any degree -- and sample jobs for some of the more "useless" degrees.

1. Think outside of your degree. You can't always draw a straight line between your degree and a related job. Just because you graduated with a particular degree doesn't mean that your job prospects are limited within that field. Think more broadly when looking for a job.

2. Supplement your degree. Your degree may be a good foundation, but, if it doesn't help you get the job you want, you may need some additional training. Taking the right courses, or pursuing the right advanced degree, can greatly increase your marketability.

3. Use your unusual degree to set yourself apart. Financial institutions are usually staffed with employees with finance degrees; check out any IT department and you'll likely find workers with technical degrees. For some jobs, there is no avoiding the fact that you need a particular degree. But, for other jobs, your differing expertise can set you apart -- in a good way.

Studies shows that any degree can increase your salary, give you more job options, secure your job, or help you transition to a new career.

Here are some examples of "useless" degrees and what you can do with them.

* Bachelor's in History

As a history major, you've undoubtedly acquired a wide-range of skills that will serve you well in many jobs. With effective research and critical analysis skills, you could look outside of education to find a good job match for your most transferable skills.

Possible jobs: Archivist, SSS agent, Economist and Film editor

* Bachelor's in English

If your bachelor's in English isn't landing you that dream gig writing for the New York Times, you may want to explore other ways to make a living with your strong writing and people skills. With just a few strategic courses to complement your core degree, you could have a great new career.

Possible jobs: Lobbyist, Marketing specialist, Public relations assistant and Technical writer

* Bachelor's in Psychology

With your degree in psychology, you're not just destined for a life as a psychologist or some related field of human service. With your knowledge of human behavior and strong data analysis skills, you could find your niche in any number of different industries.

Possible jobs: Human resources manager, Immigration officer, Market analyst and wage analyst.