Liberals tend to get Worthless College Degrees that require little Math or Science

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 15th, 2014

Week in Review

There’s a lot of talk about income inequality these days.  As President Obama wants to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour.  Which would raise the earnings from an entry-level, unskilled job to just about what some college graduates earn after taking out huge student loans.  For those college graduates who can find a job, that is.  For it’s pretty bad out there.  Especially for some college majors.  Here are some worthless degrees based on starting salaries and current unemployment rates for these fields (see College Majors That Won’t Land You a Job posted on ChaCha).

Fine Arts

Whoever coined the phrase starving artist must have majored in Fine Arts. Recent graduates of the degree face an unemployment rate of 12.6% and low salaries of around $30,000 when they finally do find a job. Doesn’t sound very fine to me!

Drama and Theater

People who major in Drama and/or Theater generally have dreams of being an actor and that is notoriously hard to do. Recent grads will face an unemployment rate of 8.8% and paltry salaries of $26,000 if they actually do land a bit part in anything. In reality, many people majoring in theater never end up becoming actors of any sort at all and instead find themselves in completely unrelated careers, having wasted a lot of money on college.

English

Those who major in English tend to want to do one of two things, teach or write. Unfortunately this still ends up with about 9.2% of recent grads struggling to find any kind of job. Salaries in this career tend to always be lower than the national average, even if you finally manage to get yourself established with a job for a while.

Anthropology and Archaeology

Do you fancy yourself the next Indiana Jones? Or digging up dinosaur bones like on Jurassic Park? Well, as fun as that might sound, the reality of the situation is that over 10% of graduates can’t find jobs digging anything up and those that do don’t get paid very well, less than $30,000 a year. If you want to increase your chances of getting a job and getting paid better, you’ll probably have to count on getting a graduate degree.

Liberal Arts

Who even knows what a Liberal Arts degree is? Certainly not most employers, probably leading to a 9.2% unemployment rate and an almost 2 times greater than the national average likelihood of working in retail instead of your chosen career. Most people who do end up sucessful in this major, 3 out of 4, go to graduate school as well as a 4 year school, so keep that in mind if you still want to pick it as a degree.

Journalism

With more and more of our news coming from online sources, the need for journalists is actually dropping. About 6 percent of journalism jobs are expected to be cut from the work force by 2020. Currently they already face a fairly higher than average unemployment rate of 7.7 percent.

Notice a pattern?  These are not difficult majors.  You won’t be doing much calculus or quantum mechanics in these majors.  No.  These degrees don’t include much math and science.  But they allow a student to really enjoy his or her time at college.  As the lighter workload allows more time for fun.  It’s sad that colleges sell kids these worthless degrees.  Promising them a higher earning potential with their higher education.  But the colleges really don’t care.  They just want these kids to get student loans.  Because colleges just want the money.

Some of the most vocal opponents of free market capitalism have been college students.  Especially those with degrees in programs like these.  They’re angry and bitter and are more than willing to join in an Occupy Wall Street movement (it’s not like they have a job to go to thanks to their worthless degrees).  To protest against income inequality.  Especially when their worthless degrees have given them very little income.  And large amounts of debt.  But whose fault is this?  One thing for sure it isn’t the taxpayers.  Which is why the taxpayers shouldn’t pay for this outstanding student loan debt.

If the universities and colleges are providing worthless degrees perhaps they should refund that tuition.  At the least they should stop attacking free market capitalism and turning their students into Democrat voters.  For if we had robust economic activity created from low tax rates and less onerous regulation there would be so many jobs that businesses would be hiring even those with worthless degrees.  And the median family income would be rising, not falling.  As it has been during the Obama years.  Because when there are more jobs than people to fill them employers bid up salaries and wages.  As they try to get people to work for them instead of someplace else.  Something else they don’t teach in these worthless degrees.

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Colleges sell Kids Unmarketable Degrees, making them Unemployable and Deep in Debt

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 8th, 2013

Week in Review

The economy is horrible.  Youth unemployment is soaring.  As is student loan debt.  Which is a big problem when you can’t get a job in a horrible economy.  Or the only job you can get you could have gotten without that costly degree.  And your student loan payment consumes a quarter of your income.  This is not the American dream these kids went to college for.  So why is it so bad for college graduates today?  And why are we looking at a student loan crisis?  Democrats.  In particular, liberal Democrats (see A quarter of recent college graduates lack jobs by John Carney posted 9/6/2013 on CNBC).

At the turn of the century, recent college graduates had an average debt of $15,100. Last year the average debt of graduates was $27,253. This increase in the debt burden has not been matched by economic gains for college graduates. According to the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, 10 percent of recent graduates of four-year colleges have monthly student loan payments that exceed of 25% of their income. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, which only recently began looking specifically at the employment situation of people in their first few years out of college, says that as of 2011 25.5 percent of recent college graduates were jobless. (Unfortunately, more recent data about recent grads isn’t yet available.)

Seven million borrowers are in default on private or federal loans, according to the CFPB. An additional 8.9 million have deferred payments or have their loans in forbearance. These aren’t signs of a healthy contingent of borrowers.

At the turn of the century more college graduates had jobs and carried less student loan debt.  Back then there were no gender studies.  No minority studies.  No information systems.  People were getting degrees that the jobs of the day demanded.  And because they did they got hired out of college.  Into good jobs.  That allowed them to repay their student loans.  And helped make America the number one economic power in the world.  Today people with degrees that have no market value end up as baristas at Starbucks.  Which they could have done without going $27,253 into debt.

But it’s not their fault.  Colleges told them about the great wealth that awaited them with their degrees in women studies, minority studies, information systems, sociology, French literature, philosophy, etc.,  even though our high-tech economy was demanding people with math and science degrees.  Which is why we have to hand out visas to get foreigners with those degrees to work at US companies.  Because our liberal colleges are getting rich selling ‘easy’ degrees to kids more interested in having a good time while at college.  Which is easier to do when you don’t have a lot of math and science courses weighing you down.

This is why college graduates can’t get jobs and are drowning in debt.  The left’s incessant attacks on capitalism pushed these kids away from the corporate world into more noble pursuits.  By getting degrees that have no market value.  But show that they are not money-grubbing capitalists.  Though they do tend to complain that their degrees (and student loan debt) didn’t bring them the riches the colleges promised them.

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Employers aren’t hiring College Graduates because of their Worthless Degrees

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 28th, 2013

Week in Review

Going to college is a special time in a young person’s life.  For it marks their entry into the true world of partying.  Where life on campus is nothing but a party.  And these parties are so good that people actually rank colleges by their partying greatness.  To help students choose the right school for their partying needs.  For no student wants to go to the local community college.  And still live at home.  I mean, what fun is that?

No.  They want to go to another state.  Out from underneath the disapproving eyes of their parents.  Who are more times than not footing the bill.  And no doubt remember what they did while in college.  And sigh.  But they hope and pray that their kids will take some time from their partying to study.  So they can get a good job when they graduate.  Which isn’t easy in a bad economy.  Especially when, it appears, these kids spend more time partying than hitting the books (see Job Picture Looks Bleak for 2013 College Grads by Mark Koba posted 4/26/2013 on CNBC).

NACE [National Association of Colleges and Employers] said employment areas with the greatest demand for this year’s graduates include business, engineering, computer sciences and accounting.

One reason there may not be so many grads hired is that many employers don’t believe college graduates are trained properly.

A survey of 500 hiring managers by recruitment firm Adecco, found that a majority—66 percent— believe new college graduates are not prepared for the workforce after leaving college. Fifty-eight percent said they were not planning to hire entry level graduates this year, and among those managers hiring, 69 percent said they plan to bring on only one or two candidates.

“Too many students are graduating with a weak background in science and math,” said Mauri Ditzler, president of Monmouth College…

A frequent mistake graduates make that keeps them from getting even an interview is spelling…

This is sad.  For you don’t even need to know how to spell to spell well.  For there is a button on all word processors and email editors.  It’s a remarkable button.  If you click on it something magical happens.  It checks your spelling.  Pity our college graduates aren’t learning this in college.  Or that they are just too lazy to click on it.

So what is Mom and Dad getting for all that money they spent sending their kid to college?  Which can be anywhere around $165,000 per kid for a 4-year degree out of state.  In truth few parents can pony up this kind of money.  So students make their way to the financial aid department on campus.  And borrow enough to buy a house.  In exchange for a degree that their college told them will lead to great riches.  And they did that with a straight face.

The reason employers aren’t hiring a lot of college graduates is because of the degrees a lot of them are getting.  And they’re not the hard ones.  For that would get in the way of all their partying.  If you look at the undergraduate degree programs for any college in a warm climate with a good party reputation you will see degrees in academic fields like African-American Studies; American Indian Studies; Anthropology; Art History; Communication; Comparative Literature; French & Francophone Studies; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies; Musicology; Philosophy; Poetry; Women’s Studies.  Etc.  A degree costing a student about $165,000 in student loan debt.  Require little science and math.  And isn’t likely to land you a job interview for someone looking for someone with math and science skills.  Which is who a lot of employers want to hire these days.

These colleges are heaping enormous amounts of debt on our kids.  For a degree that can never earn the kind of money that can pay back that student loan.  And this mounting student loan debt will probably be the last straw that will bankrupt the country.  For it already exceeds a trillion dollars.  And it grows still.  Money that went to these universities and colleges.  Providing generous pay and benefit packages.  And some very nice perks.  Living in the fantasyland of a college campus.  Shielded from the real world.  Some in higher education are acquiring great wealth at the expense of our children.  And the future financial wellbeing of our country.  As our kids will struggle to pay off these loans.  And when they can’t get a job in their field of study they’ll end up taking a job some place they didn’t need that $165,000 degree to get.

This is a tragedy of epic proportions.  Sooner or later government will have to force these colleges to put their money where their mouth is.  To make them accountable.  Before they bankrupt the country.  For anyone paying for college with a student loan they need to enroll only those students who can complete a program with a degree that has true market value.  Who can graduate and get a job with a pay level commensurate with their degree.  If the number of students who can’t falls below, say, 90%, then the college has to start refunding tuition.  For a job poorly done.  It’s only fair.  For they are the only ones who get paid so well for doing such a terrible job.  Giving their graduates degrees with no true market value.

Critics will scream this is not fair.  For we will lose the richness of our culture by not having degree programs in all those other fields that don’t have true market value.  But a degree with no market value is a worthless degree.  And if these worthless degrees are so important to the culture of the country then let the students who want them pay for these degrees with their own money.  And have the college charge less for them if they don’t have true market value.  For if a degree doesn’t have any market value why in the world are they charging $165,000 for them in the first place?

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Thanks to a Horrible Economy a lot of Starbucks Baristas have a BA Degree

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 30th, 2013

Week in Review

President Obama is always talking about sending more kids to college.  And investing into the future.  But as it turns out a lot of kids are going to college.  Taking on enormous amounts of student loan debt.  But they’re not graduating with a useful degree that they can use to help build that future (see Why a BA is Now a Ticket to A Job in a Coffee Shop by Megan McArdle posted 3/27/2013 on The Daily Beast).

Too many college kids are living in Mom’s basement, or working at Starbucks…A while back, I found myself talking to a professor whose school has a number of impressive-sounding graduate programs that were originally conceived as add-ons for a professional degree in law or medicine or business.  They are now attracting a number of students who just go for the standalone degree.  He didn’t understand what the career path was for these kids, and he wasn’t sure that they did either.

“It sounds good, so they can persuade their parents to pay for it,” he said, a touch guiltily…

Skilled workers with higher degrees are increasingly ending up in lower-skilled jobs that don’t really require a degree–and in the process, they’re pushing unskilled workers out of the labor force altogether…

I made quite a splash with a Newsweek story arguing that we may be overinvesting in college.  There were basically three parts to this argument: first, that a lot of college attendance is signalling activity rather than skill acquisition; second, that more students with BAs are ending up in jobs that don’t require them; and third, that a substantial number of kids don’t finish, washing out with a lot of debt and no commensurate earning power to pay it…

So while college graduates are having trouble getting college-style jobs, the unskilled workers are doing even worse.  This is not necessarily evidence that the college degree is producing the wage–it might be that folks capable of getting into college would be able to get that barista job even if they didn’t go…

It suggests that we’re pushing more and more people into (more and more expensive) college programs, even as the number of jobs in which they can use those skills has declined.  A growing number of students may be in a credentialling arms race to gain access to routine service jobs.  Or maybe the productivity of our nation’s wait staff is spiking as more skilled workers flood into these jobs.

Unfortunately, there’s no obvious policy response to this.  It’s easier to create more college educated workers through government policy than it is to create jobs for them.  It’s not even obvious what the personal response should be–except that if you’re planning to major in English, you should maybe see if you can’t get a job at Starbucks instead.

A lot of kids go to college for the fun.  And because it’s the fun that they care about they take the easy degree programs.  Like English.  Because studying physics, engineering, medicine, etc., would just take too much time away from having a good time.  This is why they can’t get a job with their degree.  Because their degree is useless in the high-tech future that the president says we must invest in.

This is why the high-tech companies are hiring Asians and Indians.  Because they study hard in school.  Getting degrees in the hard programs.  Because they grow up with the values of their parents.  They work hard and are willing to wait to enjoy the fruits of all their labors.  Unlike American kids that can’t wait for anything.  Especially when it comes to having a good time.

When the economy is booming again and good workers are hard to find businesses will be hiring people with BAs again.  Maybe even those people earning degrees in economics.  Like those who are advising the government on how to create jobs.  But until the economy recovers from the worst recession since the Great Depression they will only hire those with the more valuable degrees.  The useful degrees.  The degrees that can actually help bring their goods and service to market.  And if their business is developing new hardware for the Internet or communication satellites knowing what a split infinitive just isn’t a useful skill.

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