Friday, May 11, 2012

Shame on the Chronicle of Higher Education

I'll be brief because I'm hungry and it's Rumpie Time.

The Chronicle of Higher Education fires a blogger for being truthful and blunt about the merits (and I might add, employment prospects) of a hyphenated-American studies degree.

THEN they interview a PhD in History who can't find a job who also happens to be a minority

Are the people at the Chronicle of Higher Education TRULY THAT STUPID and IGNORANT they can't piece it together?  Or are they so cowardly they don't have the guts to tell minorities the realities of the labor market and that their degree is worthless in fear they'd be branded a racist/homophobe/sexist/bigot/etc?

Presumably the purpose of the Chronicle of Higher Education is to HELP PEOPLE in HIGHER EDUCATION. 

Speaking the truth about the worthlessness of various liberal arts degrees, ESPECIALLY those whose primary victims are minorities, might be a great place to start.

Oh, but that would require a spine now wouldn't it?


Arch said...

Careful. You might hurt someone's feeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelings.

Anonymous said...

The whole thing is a shitshow, and anybody with eyes to see knows it. This country sold a college education as the ticket to success that the Boomers remember it being. Never mind the fact that any kind of job that simply requires a college degree with no further stipulations these days is probably the last place you would ever want to work, assuming you can find such a position at all. Never mind the fact that the cost of a college education has multiplied since the Boomers were in school. Follow your bliss, serfs! Follow your bliss!

I don't blame the kids for being ignorant and picking crap majors any more than I blame betas for being soft and overly civilized. How many could we really expect to independently come to the conclusion that every single authority figure from their flesh and blood to their teachers to the media to the colleges themselves was feeding them a load of crap? I mean even a decent number of engineering majors I know didn't pick it with an eye toward job prospects - they just picked it because they liked math and their math teachers encouraged it.

On the other hand, some of the humanities students truly are just foolish. I know a girl who doubled up in Spanish and Latin American Studies. Didn't even start thinking about jobs until the start of her senior year, and thinks that the people who go into college with explicit career goals are 'soulless.' She's staying for a fifth year to finish her Brazilian Studies minor and look for work. That minor's really gonna add a lot of value when she's looking for work in the Wichita area. I'm sure of it.

Christ, if I could do it over again I would have studied petro/chemical engineering instead of anything in business. Thank God accounting still offers decent job prospects, and that I didn't do anything completely foolish like majoring in linguistics because I would enjoy it more.

Anonymous said...

Separate boxes. Anything said about "Black Studies" goes in the box labelled "Racism Bad" while the failure of someone with an advanced degree goes in the box labelled "Evil Republicans Limit Gov't Spending for Virtuous Projects."

Cogitans Iuvenis said...

I agree with the previous poster on wishing I had studied something else other than business. I am in the field of business now, but evreything I have learned about business I have learned after college.

CBMTTek said...

Education is a business with a really good word of mouth advertising campaign.

The cost to the school to "educate" a host of masters and phds in the "arts" is minimal. What do you need? Lecture halls. How many students can you "instruct" at once? Dozens, hundreds?

On the other hand, a degree in engineering requires what? Lecture halls, labs, advanced computer systems, money for research, etc... How many engineering students can you put in a lab class at one time? A dozen maybe?

Now, let's compare the tuition costs per credit hour. Oh, they are essentially the same. Profit per engineering student = pennies per credit. Profit per hyphen student = tens/hundreds of dollars per credit.

And what do you need to keep that profit flowing in? Nothing more than the common belief that a degree, any degree will result in a good job that will reap the reward of millions more over a lifetime. In other words, do nothing more than perpetuate the existing myth.

Actually, instead of deriding the education industry, I think businesses could benefit from studying what they do that works, and emulating it.

Then again, what do I know, I am just a dumb stupid engineer.

Anonymous said...


This is one of the few nits I have to pick with you Captain. Alot of these kids taking worthless programs are being pushed into it by their Boomer parents.

Parents would do more for their kids to give them a year off after graduating high school - and charging them room and rent while they try and sort out what they want to do. Job experience is crucial as well as education - and young people need work ethics today more than ever before.

Just my two bits, your mileage may vary.

Ian said...

Fun part is that the author in question is married to a black writer.

Rachel & Robert said...

Perhaps you should get a job at an institution of higher learning, volunteer to be on an important but boring committee, and then pitch the idea for "hyphenated American engineering" or "hyphenated American accounting degrees". If they go for it, you'll get credit for starting the hyphenated American program with the best job placement :-D

Sadder, But Wiser said...

"Are the people at the Chronicle of Higher Education TRULY THAT STUPID and IGNORANT they can't piece it together? Or are they so cowardly they don't have the guts to tell minorities the realities of the labor market and that their degree is worthless in fear they'd be branded a racist/homophobe/sexist/bigot/etc?"