Solve Your Employment Woes: Hire a Poet

Solve Your Employment Woes: Hire a Poet

Attention hiring managers, HR pros, business owners, and entrepreneurs. I have a challenge for you. Instead of bemoaning the lack of available employees or poaching someone from a competitor, consider hiring someone from Business Insider’s (BI) “Most Useless College Majors” list.

According to the big brains in BI’s listicle boiler room, the folks on the list are unemployable. Therefore, we might assume they’re available and looking for work. It’s highly likely you’re going to have to train your new hire anyway, so why not specifically advertise for a recently graduated anthropologist or theater arts major?

To spare you from clicking through to BI’s hot mess and further validating their nonsense, here’s the supposed Wall of Shame (a.k.a. degrees that are worthless):

  1. Acting/Theater Arts
  2. Film
  3. Anthropology
  4. Civilization Studies
  5. Philosophy
  6. Psychology
  7. Communications
  8. English
  9. History
  10. Interior Design
  11. Marketing
  12. Photography

Hopefully, you’ll be able to use this list as a secret hiring weapon and hire your very first eager and available photography major.

In the meantime, let’s take a moment to talk about the list. In short, it’s total garbage. It’s old thinking of the worst kind and perpetuates the factory school system mentality that we seem to dote on in the United States. (i.e., Schools will crank out the proper number of perfect little drones to meet organizations’ needs). It’s old school of thought of the first order and displays a remarkable lack of understanding about the nature of work and where the future of this country lies.

Over the years, I’ve sat in coaching sessions with a great many leaders. (Listen up because here’s where the tea gets spilled!). At some point, many of those leaders who majored in something “useful” tell me some version of: “I wish I had studied the humanities in school.”

Whoa! What?!

During the course of their careers, they’ve come to understand that they are in the people business. And studying the humanities enables you to better engage in said business.

Humanities majors (like many on BI’s list) assist you with thinking creatively about the world, enhance your EQ, and help develop your ability to understand and relate to other human beings.

And THAT is where the future of work lies: in people.

In a future world where a great many technical jobs will be automated, standardized, roboticized, and commoditized, we’re going to have to communicate, emote, and engage with each other.

That’s why BI’s list is rubbish.

Perhaps you disagree with me. That’s cool. I’ve got no skin in your particular game, after all. Yet if this post lit any kind of spark for you at all, then good. Now go do something with your new perspective. I suggest hiring a poet.

Got a question about the war for talent, how to hire a philosophy major, or want to throw rocks at my glass house? Drop me a line. I’m always up for a good discussion about which type of history major to employ.


  1. STEVE DiGuglielmo Says: January 20, 2023 at 1:16 pm

    Chad, I have been loving all of your GREAT E mails every morning. This one is inspiring to me! Not only do you get a unique view from an employee that comes at life and work from a different background, you get a different set of capabilities that allows you to move into, maybe, a different sector or have a forward thinking process that your company didn’t have before. Great stuff!

    Thank you – Steve D.

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