Hoder, whose daughter is an American Studies major, had tired of trying to “rationalize how Emma’s chosen path will turn into a steady paycheck”.
Yet the more I’ve thought about it, the more I’ve decided to be honest. “I’m not sure what Emma is going to do,” I now say. “But she’s gotten a great education and has really found her passion — and I know those things will serve her well over the course of her life.”
But what about supporting yourself after graduation, and paying off student loans? Is following your passion restricted to rich people who can rely on their parents to supplement their lifestyle after graduation?
The trend is to measure the value a college education by the salaries of recent graduates.
It has become practically quaint these days to think of institutions of higher learning as places that teach students to think critically and analytically, read widely and write well. More and more, schools are being measured by, among other things, the salaries of their recent graduates. The Obama Administration has only reinforced this bias by proposing to rank colleges based, in part, on how much money graduates earn.
A rigorous liberal arts education can pay substantial dividends in the form of a satisfying and lucrative career. Okay, maybe not always lucrative. It’s arguable. But the point is that liberal arts core skills are useful in the workplace, especially considering that the workplace is constantly changing. Unfortunately, there is a serious problem with this idea.
In theory, a college liberal arts degree is a valuable commodity in the job market. In reality, the way colleges have diluted the curriculum means a liberal arts degree offers little added value in qualifying workers for today’s job market.
Anyway, I’m curious to know if Hoder’s daughter ever found a job. I’d like to know what kinds of jobs liberal arts graduates are getting these days. Based on what I’ve seen, many of them who see a dismal job market decide to go on to graduate school.