How useful will your degree be after the apocalypse?

After the apocalypse, no-one is going to be checking degrees. The zombies aren't concerned if you got a third, even though it might be an indication on the size and/or tastiness of your brains. But which are the most useful degrees to have after an apocalypse? Good job you asked, you're about to find out...

13) Law degree

A law degree would be the least useful of all the degrees after the apocalypse. What's the point in knowing the law when all law and order has broken down? Pointing out to the cannibals that "murder is illegal" isn't going to stop them hitting you with their cannibal sticks.

Your only hope is to quickly get promoted to judge and use your gavel as a weapon.

How long would you survive?

You're dead, day one.

12) Accounting and finance

Accounting and finance degrees would have been great, if the apocalypse hadn't happened. But now all that money you would have earned are just pretty pictures of that lady who turned out to be patient zero in the apocalypse.

That's right, the queen was the first to turn into a zombie, and for the first four weeks no-one noticed.

Money won't be used for a long time after the apocalypse, meaning it's going to be a long time before anyone needs an accountant again. You don't need an accountant when the new currency is potatoes.

How long would you survive?

Three days, tops, until people realise money doesn't work anymore and you're no longer of value.

11) Philosophy degree

It's a common misconception that philosophy degrees aren't useful. They are. However, after an apocalypse if you have a philosophy degree you're pretty much f****d. Explaining to the mutant / asteroid / demon that you can't be sure they exist won't stop them from promptly destroying you and your loved ones.

How long would you survive?

3-5 days. Enough to have an existential crisis.

10) English degree

Oh you can read can you? Maybe you can read bedtime stories to the mutants. Watch your back.

How long would you survive?

Depends if you've ever read World War Z. If you have, 3 weeks, if you haven't then 6 days max.

9) Scientist

Not useful for the first four years, until people suddenly need lightbulbs again.

How long would you survive?

Depends on what kind of scientist you are. If you're the shotgun wielding Will Smith in I Am Legend kind of scientist, you'll survive long enough to realise you're the monster now (2 years) and it's their world.

If you're the Brian Cox kind you'll spend a few minutes gazing in wonder at the zombie blood and promptly get killed by a fellow survivor who'll think you're more useful as food.

8) Zoology

Zoology and/or veterinary science sound like they're going to be pretty useless after an apocalypse, until you realise that after the petrol runs out we're all going back to horses. After the apocalypse, vets will essentially be horse mechanics, and will act as nurses/doctors when actual nurses/doctors aren't around to tell them "don't cut that - you're thinking of rabbits."

You'll also be in high demand if the apocalypse involves monkeys taking over, as you'll know their weak spots, or can weasel your way into their society using what you know of their hierarchy.

How long would you last?

2-6 months.

7) Theology

This can be useful in certain kinds of apocalypses. If you're facing zombies, you might find you can gather a group of followers if you keep quoting that passage "AND WHEN THERE'S NO MORE ROOM IN HELL THE DEAD SHALL WALK THE EARTH". The key to your survival will be scaring the shit out of everyone else so that they turn to you as their leader, and (if the apocalypse is right) performing the occasional exorcism.

How long would you survive?


6) Psychology

Ok, a lot of what you learn in psychology is not going to be useful after an apocalypse, and won't help you survive. Blaming people's mothers for their problems when you clearly should be blaming the mutants is not going to help anybody. Mother didn't cause the nuclear war that started this whole thing (it was Luxembourg. Trust us.). However aspects of psychology are going to be incredibly useful. You'll be able to get a whole lot more people to survive if you can deal with their post-traumatic stress, for instance.

How long would you survive?

How long do you think you'd survive?

5) Maths

People make a lot of jokes about how useless maths is, and how knowing a lot of things about how pointy a triangle is isn't going to be useful in the real world.

However, after an apocalypse it's going to be incredibly useful to have someone who can sit down with an abacus and calculate how fast the virus is spreading and come up with a fancy graph that shows the best way to deal with the infected.

Who's going to be more useful, the sports scientist who can outpunch a zombie or the maths nerd who's calculated how long you have to quarantine yourself away from the zombie herd before their food supply runs out and they die off naturally? Poindexter, that's who.

How long would you last?

You do the maths. And then you'll survive 3-9 months.

4) History

Depending on what era of history you studied, you could be incredibly useful after an apocalypse, or instant zombie fodder.

If you specialised in world war 2 you might be up to date on your weaponry, but that's only useful if you have access to a spitfire. It might be interesting to know that Hitler was a bad man and why, but that's not going to protect you from the asteroid dust.

The really useful stuff is going to be anyone who studied farming techniques in the 1800s, medicine in the same era or the history of feudalism. These techniques are going to be useful now that no technology works (for instance if the asteroid hit Google headquarters). Your knowledge is going to be much more useful than anyone with any computer programming skills. Knowing how to use a gas lamp is now much more useful than knowing how to build a flappy bird rip-off app from scratch.

How long would you survive?

3-12 months.

3) Engineers

The first thing an engineer should do in an apocalypse is build a massive wall you could hide behind. Or rig up some kind of water supply. We're not sure, we're not engineers - you are - and that's why you're going to survive a long time. People are going to need people who walk around with hard hats and some sort of massive plans more than ever.

2) Medical / nursing degree

Yep, you were the most useful people before the apocalypse and you're still going to be one of the most useful people after the apocalypse, you smug bastards. Having medical knowledge is going to be incredibly important, as we'd essentially (without hospitals etc) be going back to the days where any small wound could kill you. Your knowledge of how to heal people is going to make you very important in any new society that forms, and people will protect you.

Unfortunately, having medical knowledge is going to put you in a lot of contact with "the infected" and so you might die quite quickly if you're facing a zombie and/or rage virus apocalypse, being so close to the victims as they transform into a zombie and try to rip your face off. Sleep soundly.

How long would you survive?

1 week - 20 years, depending on the apocalypse.

1) Farming degree

If you have a farming degree you're going to be hotly in demand throughout the whole apocalypse. In the early days people will be running to your door when they need pitchforks.

And during the later days of the apocalypse, people are going to need your farming skills the moment all the tins of beans move past their sell by date.

No-one but you know how to grow broccoli any more (do they grow on trees? Do they grow underground like a potato? No-one knows). This knowledge is going to be important if the new post-apocalyptic society is to survive. People will protect you because they know how useful you are and you'll live like a king (albeit a king with wellies who spends a lot of time wallowing in manure).

How long would you survive?

Until society builds itself up again, and then collapses a second time.

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