Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Lucrative Majors

But exactly what an English major makes in a lifetime has never been clear, and some defenders of the humanities have said that their students are endowed with “critical thinking” and other skills that could enable them to catch up to other students in earnings.

Turns out, on average, they were wrong.

Over a lifetime, the earnings of workers who have majored in engineering, computer science or business are as much as 50 percent higher than the earnings of those who major in the humanities, the arts, education and psychology, according to an analysis by researchers at Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce. link

Absolutely, college should be for more than just job certification. On the other hand, there's nothing contradictory about having a top-notch math/science/engineering education as part of a solid liberal arts education. I attended a school that did both, and did both well.


Ellen K said...

We are having the Big Technology Debate in our district. Next year, students can bring their own devices. They will be on a separate network. I don't know if this is a can of worms or not but the goal is to push kids to technology based careers. BUT....I know many engineers, architects and similar techie types who are great at invention but absolutely horrible at communication. I predict that with all the push for math and science, those kids who can read and write logically will be highly sought because in the end, any idea is only as good as you can transmit it to the next person. I know many engineers with grad school degrees who are out of work. How can adding more engineers help us?

Darren said...

Only in America do we create this dividing line between numbers people and words people. They are *not* mutually exclusive.

Ellen K said...

True. That was what the liberal arts degree was all about. Educated people were expected to know literature, history, science, math and art. It wasn't exclusive. But now we have kids who are locked into a narrow mode of study as early as sixth grade. I remember when my daughter had to handle the TAMS kids-high school math and science kids who were taking high school and college courses simultaneously. They were great at the things they knew, but they were woefully ignorant of some of the dismissed arts, history and literature. It's a big gap. And it should not be there except that folks like H. Ross Perot claim to want children formed into worker for their companies.