When college or attending college becomes the subject of discussion, most high school students have mixed feelings. Incoming college students may, at one point, find themselves questioning the popular cultural assumption that earning a degree is a definite way to make it through life. And while at it, they usually contemplate on what college degree to pursue.
Most people are familiar with the degrees college students commonly choose including in the fields of business, health professions, social sciences, psychology, biological and biomedical sciences, and education. What most of us don’t know, however, is that there are college degrees that are less popular than others—so unpopular in fact, that we are clueless they exist.
Here are some college degrees that are quite unusual but may actually lead to a thriving career for graduates:
Latin American and Caribbean Studies
If you are fascinated with tropical islands and archipelagos and can’t get enough of the sun and the beach, a Latin American and Caribbean Studies degree or college program lets you mix work and leisure. It focuses on the history, culture, economics, and politics that have shaped Latin American and Caribbean societies.
Holders of a Latin American and Caribbean Studies degree become competent program managers, assistants, coordinators, communications managers, teachers, and journalists.
Latin American and/or Caribbean Studies degree is offered in:
- Brown University in Providence, RI
- University of Michigan-Ann Arbor in Ann Arbor, MI
- New York University in New York, NY
- University of Wisconsin-Madison in Madison, WI
- University of Georgia in Athens, GA
- SUNY at Binghamton in Vestal, NY
- State University of New York at New Paltz in New Paltz, NY
- University of Vermont in Burlington, VT
- St John’s University-New York in Queens, NY
- Colorado State University-Fort Collins in Fort Collins, CO
- College of Charleston in Charleston, SC
- Union College in Schenectady, NY
- CUNY Lehman College in Bronx, NY
- Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA
- Rollins College in Winter Park, FL
- Gustavus Adolphus College in Saint Peter, MN
- University of Wisconsin Milwaukee in Milwaukee, WI
- Linfield University in McMinnville, OR
- College of Staten Island CUNY in Staten Island, NY
- Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL
Do you agree with the contention that scientifically concocted medicines aren’t everything—and that plants and herbs have medicinal properties that treat and cure diseases? If you answered yes to that, Clinical Herbalism is the major for you, as it focuses on the research and study of herbal protocols. It is offered in programs for both undergraduates and graduates. Clinical herbs are highly in demand in fitness, health, and wellness industries, and used for allergy and pain management, anxiety, hypertension, and even depression.
Herbalism graduates emerge as skilled specialists who pursue careers in teaching, public speaking, sales, and consulting.
Herbalism is a college major offered in:
- Bastyr University in Kenmore, WA
- New York College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Mineola, NY
- Maryland University of Integrative Health in Laurel, MD
Wine Brewing and/or Fermentation Science
In fermentation science, students study how “carbohydrates convert to carbon dioxide and alcohols” such as in liquor. This, however, also extends to the chemical processes and sciences behind preservation methods for cider and pickles. Ultimately, this coursework prepares graduates for career in chemistry fields. It is also usually integrated with courses that promote entrepreneurial proficiency, as well as an understanding of the engineering, systems, design, and cultural implication of these products.
Graduates of the Wine Brewing and/or Fermentation Science degree find themselves with thriving careers in brewing production, wine production, food and beverage processing, bio-manufacturing, distillation technologies, and process engineering.
Wine Brewing and/or Fermentation Science is a college major offered in:
- California State Polytechnic University in Pomona, CA
- San Diego State University in San Diego, CA (Certificate)
- The University of California Davis in Davis, CA (Continuing and Professional Education)
- University of California San Diego Extension in La Jolla and San Diego, CA
- Metropolitan State University of Denver in Denver, CO
- Regis University in Denver, CO (Certificate)
- Siebel Institute of Technology in Chicago, IL (Certificate)
- Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, MI
- Schoolcraft College in Livonia, MI (Certificate)
- Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, MI
- Dakota County Technical College in Rosemount, MN (Certificate)
- Montana State University Billings in Billings, MT (Certificate)
- Schenectady County Community College in Schenectady, NY
- Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College in Asheville, NC
- Oregon State University in Corvallis, OR
- University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, PA (Certificate)
- University of Vermont in Burlington, VT
- Central Washington University in Ellensburg, WA
- Appalachian State University in Boone, NC
- Cornell University in Ithaca, New York
Mortuary science is integral to understanding and meeting funeral service standards, while also learning to assist and serve the bereaved members of the deceased. The skills expected to be honed in this major include embalming, which will be taught in lectures and laboratories, as well as the preparation of the remains of the deceased for burial.
funeral sales, funeral home staff as apprentice or assistant, embalmer director, or mortuary transport technician,
Mortuary Science is a college major offered in:
- University of Minnesota in Twin Cities, MN
- Gannon University in Erie, PA
- Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA
- Ferris State University in Big Rapids, MI
- Lindenwood University in Saint Charles, MO
- Southern Illinois University-Carbondale in Carbondale, IL
- Lincoln College of New England in Southington, CT
- Worsham College in Wheeling, IL
- San Antonio College in San Antonio, TX
- Fayetteville Technical Community College in Fayetteville, NC
- Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science in Finneytown, OH
- Wayne State University in Detroit, MI
If you thought puppetry doesn’t require the skills that formal education teaches, you’re wrong. It is a college program that is closely integrated with the performing arts. Students contemplating a career in puppeteering should go to a university or college and take a close at the theater studies or performing arts department.
Aside from doing puppeteer work, graduates of this degree are also known for their expertise in voice work or acting, design, directing, teaching, theatre production and management, and writing.
Puppet Arts is a college major offered in:
- West Virginia University in Morgantown, WV
- California State University in Sacramento, CA (Certificate)
- University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT
The Race Track Industry Program
For students who are looking to build a career in the horse racing, the Race Track Industry Program is ideal. This offers theoretical and practical knowledge in the various aspects of the industry, enabling graduates to master race track regulation and management.
Graduates of this course are equipped to supervise gaming workers, ground keepers, as well as track vets. Race Track Managers earn anywhere between $47,000 to nearly $79,000 annually.
The Race Track Industry Program is offered in:
- University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ
These college degrees may be quite odd for most people who have been exposed to conventional courses. Unusual as these careers may be, we find Latin American and Caribbean studies experts, race track experts, clinical herbalists, professional puppeteers, morticians, and fermenting professionals everywhere. Explore the career that piques your interest. Find the best colleges and universities that offer these degrees or programs and, armed with educational expertise, pursue your passion.