I think a lot of people look at university studies as job training, when in reality, they should be viewed as a period for developing critical thinking, communication, and problem solving skills. College is not a vocational training program.
What do you do with a degree in gender studies? You spend four years learning about politics, theory, literature, history, sociology, and psychology, which can then be applied to a variety of positions in the working world. You become a teacher, or work in human resources or social work, or go on to law or nursing school, or go into government.
Why can I easily answer this question? Because I have degrees in the arts. While all my friends in B school were learning what to think, I was learning how to think creatively. I now run my own business, but spent six years at a large corporation, where my bosses often commented in my performance reviews that they loved to watch me in meetings, because while everyone was jumping in immediately to argue why we couldn't make this or that change, I was quietly thinking. When everyone else was done reacting, I could speak to how the changes would effect us today, six months from now, and in the long term, and how they might turn into a good thing. The imagination and creative thinking that was encouraged in art school turned out to be a powerful tool in the business world.
Oh, and my parents thought my university studies were a huge waste of time, too. They stopped thinking that when I bought my house, on my own, with the earnings from the job I got despite those "waste of time" degrees.