Jobs for rhetoric majors

The job market is stronger for new college graduates, but prospects depend on the major, reports the Contra Costa Times at Berkeley’s graduation.

BERKELEY – Molly Zucker was wearing her cap and gown Wednesday along with hundreds of other UC Berkeley graduates on campus, but reality was sinking in for the 21-year-old San Mateo native: What does a rhetoric and mass communications major do now?

“I have a perpetually sinking feeling,” Zucker said of her job prospects shortly before the afternoon commencement ceremony at the half-full Greek Theatre.

Two of my daughter’s friends graduated more than a year ago as rhetoric majors, one from Berkeley. The question of what to do now hasn’t been answered for either.

Still, hiring of new college graduates is expected to rise 13 percent to 20 percent over last year, the Times reports.

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  1. Jobs for rhetoric majors? Politician.

  2. So why aren’t these smart young graduates beating down the doors of their college career center? These centers have dedicated professionals set up just to help students just like these young graduates. Services they offer include: helping grads tap into an often extensive alumni network; tips on creating great resumes and cover letters; help in setting up informational interviews and the list goes on. It’s not the end of the world for these graduates, they just have start marketing and selling their skills.

  3. Walter E. Wallis says:

    Sue the University?

  4. SuperSub says:

    Just another example of the failure of a Liberal Arts education… extremely limited ability to apply it to the real world.
    Half of the substitute teachers I come across are certified English teachers… and I can count on one hand the number of certified Math and Science teachers who substitute.
    And don’t even get me started on the rigor of some of these majors.

  5. rouxdsla says:

    Open a little “Rhetoric Shop”….hehehe

  6. superdestroyer says:

    I alway thought that was the degree that the concierges at the had because it is not stressful but you have to able to read and talk to people who majored in other things.

  7. Half Canadian says:

    I got a BS in Psych and an MS in Sociology. I can say that the bulk of the theory classes are useless in my work now. Statistics, research methods (ie, surveys, interviewing, etc.) and writing (a basic skill everyone should have) are what allows me to make a living.
    Funny thing is, the theory classes were fun, stats were hard (and poorly taught), so what did I waste my time on?
    I did have eyes on academia, but grad-school burn out intervened. At this point, I’m glad that I opted out. But without my background in stats, I’d be another low-skill worker.

  8. Interestingly, very few of these grads seem willing to consider a career..or even a first job…in the sales field. Business-to-business sales jobs can demand high intelligence, excellent communications ability, and extraordinary levels of interpersonal skills. They can be *extremely* lucrative and often are a good launching pad for high-level management jobs. Yet they’re totally off the radar screen for many college grads (including many business grads, interestingly.) Why?

  9. tahoe contrarian says:

    Maybe it’s because most people realize that “sales” jobs are for shysters.

  10. How many business-to-business salespeople have you actually met? I’m talking about people who sell things like million dollar software systems, locomotives, CNC machine tools, etc.

  11. Walter E. Wallis says:

    Don’t bother to build it if someone doesn’t sell it.

  12. john.cunningham says:

    tahoe contrarian shows why the recent grads will not consider working in sales of any type. Their college brainwashing taught them that capitalism is evil, that all business activies are anti-human, and that the only decent thing to do is to bring down the BusHitler regime. I wonder, as well, how many piercings and tattoos are visible upon the grads in question? that alone might have a big impact on employability.

  13. The average salesperson is at least as ethical as the average journalist, lawyer, or university professor. The prejudice against salespeople is an echo of the old aristocratic prejudice against those who are “in trade,” helped along a bit by Arthur Miller.

    Those graduates who have the courage to ignore this prejudice can do very well for themselves.

  14. Half Canadian says:

    Let me just say, having worked for companies that failed, a good salesman is worth their weight in gold. If you can sell things, you will never want for work.

  15. petyabogdanova says:

    I probably am the perfect example of someone who has a degree in Rhetoric and Mass Communications and has come to find great success in the field of sales. Honestly, speaking, the only reason there might be negative connotations in the job title ” sales person” , would be simply because sales people are normally the ones who control the situation, and if you are controlled by someone, naturally you wouldn’t like them. Sales goes beyond that though, it is not about control, but about exploring the human psychic and the power of language. On top of it, it builds a character in you, because you need to learn to deal with a lot of rejection. I graduated 2 years ago, ended up starting a sales job as a joke, started making insane money and went on with it,and now manage my own team of sales people.
    I am grateful for everything that I learned in college and I am using 90% of the knowledge I gained in college to sell with ease.