Yet another case of that silly and damaging humanities idealism.
Last month the Daily Beast listed archaeology among the thirteen most useless major subjects at US colleges, as measured by employment opportunities and earnings potential. Bradley T. Lepper, curator of archaeology at the Ohio Historical Society, objects. He argues that archaeological knowledge is valuable to the long-term sustainability of a civilisation, and so the subject should be more highly valued. Whether true or not, this is beside the point. Daily Beast didn’t list subjects that they think should by rights be poorly paid or offer few job opportunities. They’re performing a valuable service in warning their readers about college majors that do in fact lead to poor pay and offer few job opportunities.
Lepper allows that our subject “certainly is not a career path for anyone who wants to get rich”. I don’t know anything about the Ohio job market, but I suspect that this is a grave understatement there as well. It would have been more accurate and honest to say that archaeology is not a career path for anyone who wants to get employment relevant to their college major. That is, anyone who wants a return on their investment of time and funds during college.
(And commenters, please don’t make the tired and baseless “archaeology gives you useful secondary skills” argument. Employers prefer people with useful primary skills.)