(Maybe a rant?)
This is for every person out there who's ever aspired to train their artistic passions to serve/be their professional career, and for every person who's ever wanted to pursue a career that's been called a 'waste of time.'
Virtually every career has value. Theater, history, horticulture, architecture, fine arts. Journalism. Don't let anyone/anything tell you otherwise. The 'value' may not be immediate or even present in the eyes of others, but the fact of the matter is that if it has value to you, then you have every right to pursue it. (And really, it probably contributes to the real world way more than other people think.) I'm sick of getting online and catching sight of another 'article' denouncing another handful of degrees as 'useless' or 'not worth the effort.' Says who? According to what, and on what basis? Most of these 'articles' base their judgment on economical and (projected) employment statistics. What if you're not in it just to get employed? What if you're actually interested in the education, and actually want to learn? Not for that slip of paper you get at the end of four years... but for yourself? God forbid that some people go to school to gain a little more; most people will go the traditional route (four years and out into the workforce), while others may not opt to.
I've found that, more often than not, those who deviate from the traditional path tend to put themselves into these 'useless' majors/minors.
It's funny how many times I've heard and read, "architects are useless." This has probably been said of every major that isn't some kind of engineering, medical science, or business-related degree, really. I've certainly heard it more than enough. (My own colleagues can have very 'engineer-supremecist' bias from time to time.) I have friends and colleagues who have met this kind of backlash for their choice to go into something related to the arts. "You're wasting your [parents'] money," they'll say. "You're wasting your time."
Just remember what I said about worth. About learning for yourself, not someone else.
While it's true that medical sciences and engineers will pave the way for world development (especially as technology evolves), I think these websites and 'news' agencies often take these 'useless majors' for granted. They really do. I read a thoughtful comment earlier today...
[Responding to a 'useless majors' list] "Funny that these majors provide for the greatest "human experience". [We would all be living] a boring existence without these "useless" majors."
It's true. The impact of things like film, music, history, and design (etc.) are so enormous and so widespread in our everyday lives that the public takes it for granted. Our future is built on lessons learned in history. Both artists and writers engage the imagination through the senses through things on a page. Architecture affects everything from the way you interact with other people and how you receive your surroundings.
These get you to /think,/ whether you're aware of it or not. An appreciation for anything, I think, is some form of thinking already. Compare that to simply receiving and consuming.
Do a little research, and ask someone on the street (if you want to try it): "Did you know that [useless major field]..." What will they tell you? How will they react?
Lots of these majors thrive on creativity, and creativity is something necessary for progress. And yet, curiously, it is so unbelievably under-appreciated... due to the fact that it's often squandered by this silly, shallow need to convince our next generation to devalue it for little green slips of paper. (I'm not saying every child should go into something artful, but more should certainly have more opportunity to explore it). Creativity produces. Creativity is fresh. The Brony fandom is so enormous because of the sheer amount of creativity involved in its skeleton (compare that to some other fanbase).
The best way to describe the sheer importance of these 'useless majors' is to imagine what life would be like without them. What would happen if there were suddenly no more architects? No more writers, no more historians? No more horticulturists? As an example to the former, I live in a house designed by engineers (engineers are not designers in the true sense of the word). It seemed nice, at first, but the longer I live in it, the more things start to bother me-- corners don't meet, details are sloppy, and general construction is valued for its cheap price tag, not its properties. The worst part of it for me, so far, is the kitchen sink: for some reason, it's split in two right down the middle, with the faucet too far back/too shallow to reach the better part of both halves. The oven sits way too far from the working surfaces of the kitchen, making it unbelievably irksome to function in a cooking scenario. Nobody thinks about these things immediately (I didn't)... but it's clear that there is an impact (often not good) when someone else starts doing your job.
... The point of this being that these majors are far from useless. They just aren't. Within an economical context, those who have chosen to deviate may have some trouble getting a job afterwards, but just how much that matters depends on your priorities. What's worth more to you? The education that you can use to any end (and the new way in which you'll probably see the world) or the $100,000 slip of paper? (The truth is that having both is probably to your benefit, rather than just the latter.) Would you rather be happy doing what you do or skulking over a desk laboring every day because you have to?
Nobody is expected to know what they want to do with their life before high school is even over. But just keep this in mind: no degree is 'useless.' Education is not useless. Ever.