The Most Overrated Degree: Debunking College Majors' Popularity

Choose the degree you think is the most overrated!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Mar 4, 2024 05:45
Welcome to StrawPoll, the arena where opinions clash and debates ignite! Today, we're diving into the fascinating world of higher education and ranking the most overrated degrees out there. Did you ever wonder if your degree truly holds the value it's promised? Or do you have strong feelings about which degrees are overhyped and not worth the investment? Well, it's time to make your voice heard! Vote for your favorite or suggest an option we've missed, and watch as the rankings unfold in real time. Be a part of this thrilling debate and join thousands of others in determining once and for all, which degree takes the (un)coveted title of the most overrated. Cast your vote now and let the battle begin!

What Is the Most Overrated Degree?

  1. 1
    While a degree in business administration can be valuable, it is often seen as overrated due to the large number of graduates in the field and the lack of specialized knowledge that it provides.
    Business Administration is a popular degree program that focuses on the study of various business principles and practices. It provides a broad understanding of how businesses operate and equips students with essential skills for managing and leading organizations.
    • Versatility: Business Administration graduates have the flexibility to pursue a wide range of career paths across industries.
    • Core business knowledge: The degree covers fundamental concepts such as finance, marketing, operations, human resources, and strategic management.
    • Leadership skills: Students develop skills in decision-making, problem-solving, team management, communication, and strategic planning.
    • Adaptability: Business Administration equips students with the ability to adapt to changing business environments and industry trends.
    • Networking opportunities: Students often have access to a vast network of alumni and industry professionals to aid in career development.
    Business Administration in other rankings
  2. 2
    Many students pursue psychology degrees without a clear plan for their career, which can lead to a lack of job opportunities and low earning potential. Additionally, the field is highly competitive and requires advanced degrees for many positions.
    Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and behavior. It encompasses various sub-disciplines such as cognitive, developmental, social, and clinical psychology. Its primary focus is to understand individual and group behavior, mental processes, and the underlying mechanisms that shape human experience. Psychology utilizes research methods, empirical data, and theories to explore different areas like perception, learning, memory, motivation, personality, emotion, and social interaction.
    • Branches: Cognitive, Developmental, Social, Clinical, etc.
    • Focus: Understanding mind and behavior
    • Areas of Study: Perception, Learning, Memory, Motivation, Personality, Emotion, etc.
    • Research Methods: Observational studies, experiments, surveys, interviews, etc.
    • Empirical Data: Data collected through systematic observation and experimentation
  3. 3
    While communication skills are important in many professions, a degree in communication can be seen as overrated due to the lack of specialized knowledge it provides and the difficulty of finding jobs in the field.
    Communications is a degree program that focuses on the study of human communication, including verbal, nonverbal, and written communication across various contexts. It explores the theories, practices, and techniques of effective communication in interpersonal, organizational, and mass communication settings.
    • Broad Scope: Covers diverse aspects of communication including interpersonal, organizational, and mass communication.
    • Interdisciplinary: Incorporates elements from fields like psychology, sociology, media studies, and public relations to provide a holistic understanding of communication.
    • Skills Development: Develops essential skills such as public speaking, writing, critical thinking, and media literacy.
    • Career Pathways: Opens opportunities in fields like journalism, public relations, advertising, marketing, media production, corporate communication, and event management.
    • Adaptability: Equips graduates with transferable skills applicable across industries and professions.
  4. 4
    While a degree in English can be valuable for those pursuing careers in writing or education, it is often seen as overrated due to the lack of clear job opportunities and low earning potential.
    English is a widely spoken and recognized language in South Africa. It is known for its clarity, versatility, and global influence.
    • Clarity: English is characterized by its clear pronunciation and straightforward grammar, making it easy to understand and learn for non-native speakers.
    • Versatility: English is highly adaptable and versatile, allowing for the expression of a wide range of ideas, emotions, and concepts.
    • Global influence: English is the predominant language of international communication, business, science, and technology, giving it a significant global presence and impact.
    • Rich vocabulary: English boasts a vast and diverse vocabulary, incorporating words from multiple sources such as French, Latin, Greek, and more, enriching its expressiveness.
    • Literary heritage: English has a rich literary history, spanning from the works of William Shakespeare to modern-day writers, offering a vast array of literature to explore.
  5. 5
    Despite being an interesting field, sociology is often seen as overrated due to the difficulty of finding jobs in the field and the low earning potential.
    Sociology is a field of study that examines social behavior, interaction, and society as a whole. It focuses on understanding how various social structures, institutions, and processes impact individuals, groups, and communities. Sociologists utilize various research methods to investigate social phenomena and analyze the patterns and dynamics of social relationships.
    • 1: Focuses on studying social behavior and society
    • 2: Examines social structures, institutions, and processes
    • 3: Utilizes research methods to investigate social phenomena
    • 4: Analyzes patterns and dynamics of social relationships
    • 5: Explores social inequality, stratification, and mobility
  6. 6
    Although gender studies can be a valuable field of study, it is often seen as overrated due to the lack of job opportunities and the perception that it is not a useful degree for many careers.
    Gender Studies is an interdisciplinary academic field that explores and analyzes the social, cultural, and historical aspects of gender. It examines how gender identities are constructed, understood, and experienced in various societies and contexts. The field aims to challenge and dismantle traditional gender norms and inequalities.
    • Interdisciplinary Approach: Gender Studies draws from multiple disciplines, including sociology, anthropology, psychology, history, and literature, among others, to analyze and understand gender.
    • Focus on Social Construction: Gender Studies emphasizes that gender is a socially constructed concept, influenced by cultural, social, and historical contexts.
    • Intersectionality: The field recognizes the intersectionality of gender with other social identities, such as race, class, sexuality, and ability, acknowledging the interconnectedness of power structures.
    • Feminist Perspective: Gender Studies is closely aligned with feminist theories and aims to analyze and challenge gender-based oppressions and inequalities.
    • Deconstruction of Binaries: The field deconstructs binary understandings of gender, questioning traditional categorizations of male and female.
  7. 7
    Art History
    ArchaiOptix · CC BY-SA 4.0

    Art History

    Johann Joachim Winckelmann
    While art history can be a fascinating subject, it is often seen as overrated due to the lack of clear job opportunities and the high competition for positions in the field.
    Art History is a discipline that examines past and present art and visual culture in order to understand its significance. It explores the historical context, cultural influences, artistic movements, and the impact of various artworks on society. Through this academic field, individuals gain knowledge about the creation, interpretation, and preservation of art.
    • Scope: Study of art from different periods, cultures, and regions
    • Historical analysis: Examining art within its social, political, and economic contexts
    • Critical thinking: Analyzing, interpreting, and evaluating art and its significance
    • Research skills: Conducting in-depth research and developing academic writing abilities
    • Visual literacy: Developing the ability to analyze and understand visual representations
    Art History in other rankings
  8. 8
    Despite being a highly respected field of study, philosophy is often seen as overrated due to the lack of clear job opportunities and the perception that it is not a practical degree for many careers.
    Philosophy is an academic discipline that explores fundamental questions about the nature of knowledge, existence, values, ethics, and reasoning. It aims to analyze and understand concepts such as truth, morality, consciousness, and reality through critical thinking and logical reasoning.
    • Abstract Thinking: Philosophy promotes abstract thinking, which helps in analyzing complex problems and understanding different perspectives.
    • Logical Reasoning: It enhances logical reasoning skills, enabling individuals to evaluate arguments and identify fallacies.
    • Analytical Skills: Philosophy fosters analytical skills by developing the ability to break down complex ideas and concepts.
    • Problem Solving: Philosophy equips individuals with problem-solving abilities by encouraging critical assessment and forming coherent arguments.
    • Ethical Reasoning: It cultivates ethical reasoning, enabling individuals to evaluate moral dilemmas and make informed decisions.
  9. 9
    While anthropology can be a fascinating subject, it is often seen as overrated due to the low earning potential and the difficulty of finding jobs in the field.
    Anthropology is a discipline that focuses on the study of human beings, their societies, cultures, and development over time. It seeks to understand the diversity and complexity of human experiences, behaviors, and beliefs, both past and present. Anthropology draws on various methods and theories from the social sciences, natural sciences, and humanities to explore the biological, cultural, linguistic, and archaeological aspects of human existence.
    • Holistic Approach: Provides a comprehensive understanding of human societies and cultures
    • Cultural Relativism: Emphasizes that cultural practices should be understood within their own context
    • Ethnographic Research: Involves firsthand observation and fieldwork to study different communities
    • Long and Diverse History: Encompasses the study of ancient civilizations, indigenous cultures, and contemporary societies
    • Cross-Disciplinary Nature: Incorporates knowledge from multiple disciplines such as sociology, biology, linguistics, and archaeology
  10. 10

    Political Science

    Charles E. Merriam
    Although political science can be a valuable field of study for those pursuing careers in government or law, it is often seen as overrated due to the lack of clear job opportunities and the perception that it is not a practical degree for many careers.
    Political Science is a discipline that focuses on the study of political systems, government, and political behavior. It aims to understand the theory and practice of politics at various levels, including national, international, and local contexts. Political Science equips students with a comprehensive understanding of political processes, institutions, ideologies, and policies.
    • Versatile Career Opportunities: Political Science graduates can pursue careers in government, public administration, politics, law, journalism, international relations, and advocacy.
    • Understanding Political Dynamics: Students learn about the complexities of political behavior, power dynamics, and decision-making processes in different political systems.
    • Policy Analysis: Political Science involves critical analysis of policies, their formulation, implementation, and impact on society and governance.
    • Research and Analytical Skills: Students develop strong research, analytical, and data interpretation skills, which are valuable in various professions.
    • Global Perspective: Political Science explores international relations and global politics, providing insights into the interconnectedness of nations and global issues.
    Political Science in other rankings

Missing your favorite degree?


Ranking factors for overrated degree

  1. Cost of the degree
    Consider the financial investment required to obtain the degree, including tuition fees, living expenses, and potential student loans. If the overall cost is significantly high, it should be assessed against the future benefits and potential returns.
  2. Job prospects
    Analyze the career opportunities and job market for graduates with the specific degree. Are there ample job openings with promising growth prospects, or is the job market saturated with professionals from that field?
  3. Salary expectations
    Evaluate the average starting salaries for professionals with the degree, as well as the salary growth potential over time. If the expected salary doesn't seem to justify the investment in the degree, it might be overrated.
  4. Difficulty of the curriculum
    Assess the rigor and quality of the curriculum and the skills it imparts. If the coursework is not particularly challenging and doesn't provide valuable, transferrable skills, it might not be worth the investment.
  5. Relevance of the degree to industry demands
    Consider if the degree aligns with the current needs and demands of the job market. If it teaches skills that are outdated or not in demand, the degree might not hold much value for future graduates.
  6. Employer perceptions
    Investigate how employers perceive the degree and its graduates. If employers view the degree as less valuable or less credible than others, it could be overrated.
  7. Prestige and reputation
    Assess the prestige and reputation of the degree in the academic and professional world. If the degree is not highly regarded or respected, its value could be discounted.
  8. Practical applications
    Consider the real-world applicability of the knowledge and skills obtained from the degree. If the degree doesn't provide graduates with applicable skills that can be used in their careers, it might not be a worthwhile investment.
  9. Post-graduation support
    Evaluate the post-graduation resources and support available to students. A lack of support for networking, job search, and professional development could diminish the value of the degree.
  10. Graduation and employment rates
    Look at the graduation rates and employment rates of graduates with the specific degree. Low graduation rates and high unemployment rates could indicate that the degree is not as valuable as it may seem.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most overrated degree. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or degree is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 172 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each degree once every 24 hours. The rank of each degree is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most overrated degree

Background Information: What is the Most Overrated Degree? In today's society, obtaining a college degree is commonly seen as the key to success and a prosperous career. However, with the rise of student loan debt and a competitive job market, some individuals are starting to question the value of certain degrees. The term "overrated degree" refers to a degree that may not provide the expected return on investment in terms of job opportunities and salary. There is no clear-cut answer to what the most overrated degree is, as it can vary depending on personal experiences and industries. However, some degrees that are frequently debated as overrated include those in the humanities, such as English or philosophy, as well as degrees in the arts, such as music or theater. Critics argue that these degrees do not provide practical skills that are valued in the job market and often result in graduates struggling to find employment in their field of study. On the other hand, supporters argue that these degrees provide invaluable critical thinking and communication skills that are transferable to a variety of industries. Ultimately, the decision to pursue a particular degree should be based on personal interests and career goals, rather than solely on societal expectations. It is important to carefully research and consider various career paths before committing to a degree program.

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