Bad advice for college students

by Grace

Take a course called “Politicizing Beyoncé”.

20140209.COCBeyonce1

That’s Walter Russell Mead’s first bit of bad advice for college students.  Here’s more.

… Enroll in a college you can’t afford. Take really easy, fun courses. Don’t worry about marketable skills. Blame society for the consequences (unemployment) of your attitude problem. Then demand the government (or your parents) bail you out. We guarantee you all the misery you could ever want.

Mead wrote his advice after learning that Rutgers Department of Women and Gender Studies is offering the Beyonce course, which “will explore race, gender and sexuality in America via Beyonce’s music”.

College can be a time for fun and exploration, but students who are going into deep debt for their higher education should carefully consider which courses will show up on a transcript.

If you were to ask today’s employers what new college graduates are lacking, the skills to create a “grand narrative” around one’s own life and persona wouldn’t make the list. And a hefty dose of Beyoncé-inspired narcissism won’t exactly help with that pesky “sense of entitlement” problem employers keep complaining about.

I happen to enjoy watching Beyonce perform, but I really don’t want to pay $2,000 for my kid to take a class exploring her music.  On the other hand, I can see the possible value in adding an easy “A” to the credential that will enhance the odds for lucrative employment.

Related:  The growing distinction between ‘meaningful’ and ‘worthless” college degrees (Cost of College)

6 Comments to “Bad advice for college students”

  1. I always wonder, when I see course descriptions like that, how the professor can find enough to say to fill an entire semester.

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  2. I suspect that most such titles are marketing hype, and that the students get a fairly generic course with just one or two lectures related to the ostensible theme of the course.

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  3. CSProfMom — The other professor probably thinks the same thing about the classes you teach. :)

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  4. gasstation — I don’t know. I can imagine research papers exploring sexuality through Beyonce’s music, for example.

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  5. Reblogged this on The College Money Man Blog and commented:
    I have to agree with this Blogger: Its become a joke these useless classes that sound great but do nothing but allow a professor to pad their CV and stroke their own ego.

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  6. I don’t think a course like that will do much for a professor’s CV!!

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