You can live in the basement without college debt

It’s better in to live in your mother’s basement, drink beer and play video games all day than to major in English or sociology, go into debt and then live in the basement, says Aaron Clarey, author of  Worthless: The Young Person’s Indispensable Guide to Choosing the Right Major.

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  1. Crimson Wife says:

    Any (non-disabled) child of mine over the age of 18 living under my roof will have to be in college/training, employed, or actively engaged in a job search (with a log maintained of job search activities completed each day). Definitely no video game playing during the hours that ought to be devoted to one of the above activities.

    • That’s inspirational CW. I told my daughter she could major in psych or history, but only if she couldn’t cut the physics, math or engineering programs at CalTech.

  2. Agreed. My DD and I recently discussed one of her HS classmates, who majored in psych at an expensive private college, lost her job in a very expensive city within 6 months, and whose parents have been supporting her (in that same expensive city) for the past 4+ years, while she’s been taking acting lessons (!) and doing some SAT tutoring. My DD’s comment was that she and her brothers always knew that we would pay for college only if they majored in something that would lead to a real job; things like psych weren’t even up for discussion. They did and are all employed, doing something they enjoy.

  3. English is a perfectly useful degree when it can be used as an applied skill. Technical writing, for example, remains in demand. And even if you end up blogging for a living, I expect our illustrious host will assure us that it’s not all bad. ;-)

    Psychology is and always has been a degree you obtain before going to graduate school.

    Why get hung up on labels? Except for an employer too lazy to look beyond “your major”, the focus should be on whether you took classes that create a skill set relevant to your job. English is a bit anachronistic as a degree in and of itself, but many employers are more than happy to hire workers who are skilled at critical reading, analysis and writing.

    • Aaron: Exactly!! That’s why engineers are in demand. Good analytical skills, they can do math and they rarely write a sentence with more than one dependent clause. They’re happy communicating on PowerPoint with bullet points.

    • I majored in English and Creative Writing. Thanks to my experience as a reporter and editor for the student newspaper, I was able to get a newspaper job.

      • It’s the AND that often sells. Myself, I did physics and history. My businessey friends in undergrad thought I was nuts for interviewing for jobs with bulge bracket Wall Street firms 20 odd years ago. I think too many believe that just having vanilla degree X is the passport to the land of milk and honey.

        • The trick is, there is no more milk and honey – just empty packages that the government and colleges dangle in front of young people to keep the charade going.