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Elspeth
09-02-2016, 01:07 PM
Silly man cries over the fact that students are studying practical majors that will get them a job. Ignoring massive student load debt, he insists that liberal arts majors--now infested with PC--are, somehow, worth the money. He touts "an improved economy" (LOL) as a reason for majoring in liberal arts! The commenters--aside from a few practical ones--are either equally loony or trolls.


Meet the parents who won’t let their children study literature
https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2016/09/02/meet-the-parents-who-wont-let-their-children-study-literature/?postshare=2771472825351874&tid=ss_tw&utm_term=.b2ff3eb023a8#comments

...Matthew Boyce, George Mason’s director of undergraduate admissions, reports that parents are more interested than ever in the direct path between a degree program and a first job, and the eventual salary associated with that degree. “To many of them, that pathway from liberal arts seems a little more muddled,” he said. Adds Saskia Clay-Rooks, Mason’s acting director of career services: “What parents are thinking about is return on investment.”

I certainly got that sense when I buttonholed students and parents at an information session this spring for high school seniors who had been accepted to Mason. “To spend $80,000 on a history degree, I’d need to see a way forward” to a career, said Kyle Tucker of Fredericksburg, Va., as he stood with his son in the long line in front of the engineering school’s booth. (The boy was torn between cybersecurity and accounting.) Bradley Gray of Richmond told me that he enjoys history, but “it’s hard to get a job with a history degree — that’s what I hear, anyway. The only opportunities are in teaching or working in a museum.” Bradley is aiming for something in STEM — science, technology, engineering or math.

“We’re on the defensive,” acknowledges Robert Matz, a Shakespearean scholar who, as an associate dean in Mason’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences, is leading an effort to promote the value of liberal arts degrees. The English department’swebsite, for example, now has a prominent section, “What Can I Do With a Degree in English?,” that lists famous actors, musicians, judges, politicians and corporate executives who were English majors.

Over the past 30 years, the shift in college majors hasn’t been as dramatic as many assume. As the total number of students has doubled, the humanities have suffered modest losses in market share, while natural and social sciences have been the big winners. But more recently, in the wake of the Great Recession, the number of degrees in the core humanities disciplines — English, history, philosophy — has fallen sharply . In the mid-1960s, they represented as much as 17 percent of degrees conferred; now that figure is just over 6 percent.

This focus on college as job training reflects not only a misreading of the data on jobs and pay, but also a fundamental misunderstanding of the way labor markets work, the way careers develop and the purpose of higher education.

Let’s start with unemployment. A study by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce found that in 2011 and 2012, when the economy was in the early stages of recovery, the unemployment rate for recently graduated majors in humanities and liberal arts (8.4 percent) wasn’t all that different from the jobless rates for majors in computers and math (8.3 percent), biology (7.4 percent), business (7 percent) and engineering (6.5 percent). Today, with an improved economy, the numbers for all majors are almost certainly lower...

(Read the whole article. It's an example of extremely bad argumentation. No real data for the proposition and real data against it that gets poorly explained away.)

noonwitch
09-02-2016, 01:38 PM
Parents can only tell you what to major in if they are paying the costs. If you or the government is paying for your education, parents have no leverage.

Elspeth
09-02-2016, 02:14 PM
Parents can only tell you what to major in if they are paying the costs. If you or the government is paying for your education, parents have no leverage.

Well, apparently, many parents are paying the costs. That's one reason why kids are picking practical majors. 30 years ago, I might have argued that a liberal arts education was a good grounding for thought. Now, unfortunately, it's just a grounding for watered-down Marxism and ignorance. You're better off majoring in STEM or business.

Banacek
09-02-2016, 04:30 PM
If the government pays for their education and the "student" decides to major in some "liberal art" study so be it.

When he or she graduate their parents can invite them to leave ASAP and support themselves with the knowledge they gained from their degree.

Elspeth
09-02-2016, 07:23 PM
A liberal arts degree ONLY works well if you have an advanced, GRADUATE DEGREE to go with it.


https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/01/22/see-how-liberal-arts-grads-really-fare-report-examines-long-term-data

...Liberal arts graduates donít fare quite as well when they possess just an undergraduate degree, though. The workers with advanced degrees in any field of study Ė who make up about 40 percent of all liberal arts graduates, and earn about $20,000 a year more for it -- push the earnings averages up significantly. Among graduates with a baccalaureate degree only, those with humanities and social sciences degrees consistently earn less than anyone else, peaking at about $58,000 a year.

Retread
09-03-2016, 10:28 AM
I can't help remembering those boom times in the oilfield where libbie degrees actually did get a decent salary - just because it was a colitch edekason.
They were hired as field salesmen, mud-loggers, truck driving crew chiefs, and many other positions where their employer thought the idea of a degreed individual bumped up the position in the eyes of the customer. The turnover was fast and furious as they found out the jobs were 24/7, dirty and made you sweat (no glowing allowed).
But I do know some whose inner strengths came out under the circumstances and more than one who eventually rose to the top of the management chain or into the ownership circle.
Now even the PhD's in geology, geophysics and engineering are looking for work.

Elspeth
09-03-2016, 01:40 PM
Now even the PhD's in geology, geophysics and engineering are looking for work.

That's very true, and partially because academics has slowed down on full time hiring, relying on part-time (cheap) adjunct labor. Any time a full time, tenured professor starts running his or her social justice mouth, remind him or her that their job is riding on top of a sea of despised and poorly paid adjuncts. The economy of the university is even worse than the economy of the average corporation.

Retread
09-03-2016, 05:26 PM
By the time I retired, I was interacting with more PhD's on a daily basis than most colleges have on staff. And they, by gwad, worked at their job rather than doing one three hour class a week and/or supervised a grad student doing research that the prof would end up taking credit for.
Yeah, I well know what the prep time is for a three hour colitch class. I also know a goodly number of professors whose syllabus and class notes haven't been updated in a decade.

Elspeth
09-03-2016, 05:53 PM
By the time I retired, I was interacting with more PhD's on a daily basis than most colleges have on staff. And they, by gwad, worked at their job rather than doing one three hour class a week and/or supervised a grad student doing research that the prof would end up taking credit for.
Yeah, I well know what the prep time is for a three hour colitch class. I also know a goodly number of professors whose syllabus and class notes haven't been updated in a decade.

I know some adjunct professors who do a ton of prep and who are constantly changing their syllabi because they keep having to get jobs at different places. It's nice to be tenured...:biggrin-new:

Retread
09-03-2016, 05:56 PM
I've had three different schools approach me about adjunct positions since I retired. I told every one of them that I have never been that desperate.

cadillac shark
09-04-2016, 04:28 AM
I had one of those intellects that kept asking me what am I doing and where am I going? I realized I was too smart for any degree I was interested in anyway, so college just became something to do while I was making money and adventuring.

Elspeth
09-04-2016, 07:45 PM
I had one of those intellects that kept asking me what am I doing and where am I going? I realized I was too smart for any degree I was interested in anyway, so college just became something to do while I was making money and adventuring.

What were you making money at?

cadillac shark
09-05-2016, 04:58 AM
What were you making money at?

Hauling masonry-materials, driving a dump-truck, setting-up a construction-site, and cleaning-up after.

-Was laidoff every Winter. Just before (18-to-22ish) was in-charge of maintaining the County library's 16mm film-collection.

Squeezed in-and-around it all, I majored in Art (French neo-classical), then Astronomae-- oop, Astronomy, then Journalism. I directed a play, starred in a play, and tried-out for the Kansas City Royals.

Finally I just said: " Okay, I'm done with college. Nothing going-on there. "

SVPete
09-05-2016, 11:34 AM
Liberal Arts education is somewhat of a concept that has failed to evolve with the times. Originally, the idea was for lords of manors to send their heirs to colleges, where the liberal arts course of study would give them a good over-view of Literature, Mathematics, the Sciences and Philosophy so that they could manage their estates well and humanely. Sometime after the early Industrial Revolution, products became so technical - Physics, Chemistry, Engineering, Economics - that a pure Liberal Arts course of study was no longer adequate to to design, production, and management work of modern businesses. And as pleasant as music, art, and theatre/movies/TV are, they need a productive economic base to lift a large enough percentage of a nation's population above the subsistence level so as to support all those various fields of art.

Still speaking at the hypothetical level I think it very desirable for STEM grads to get BA rather than BS degrees, to have that broader education.

The rub is in present reality. Metaphorically - and at least to some degree, literally - 1960s radicals and hippies grew up into professional positions, becoming tenured professors in Liberal Arts fields, without growing up as to their political science, economics, sociology, and ethics. Putting it more plainly, they never learned the fact that their radical-crap worldview does not - and CANNOT - work, but they are passing it on, with fresh crap piled on, to their students. IOW, Liberal Arts departments are infested with crap-spreaders who detest and contemn people equipped and able to be productive in the real world.