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View Diary: Is The Student Loan Debt Bubble Bursting? (updated) (334 comments)

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  •  Graduates with philosophy degrees are (14+ / 0-)

    actually not that bad for employment and the average salary is around median, although the running joke is that philosophy grads won't have a hard time finding a job because they aren't overqualified for anything, regardless of the level of their degree.

    Of course, we live in a society that pretends that anything that isn't immediately applicable is useless, which is how we get into these problems in the first place.

    The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

    by AoT on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 03:36:06 PM PST

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    •  I've heard that English Majors are preferred (12+ / 0-)

      by many employers these days, actually, because they're better at writing, analysis, and critical thinking then the Business majors.

      Seriously, I should find this article to post. It was in Inside Higher Ed or the Chronicle of Higher Ed fairly recently, IIRC. Or the NYT? Something like that.

      Employers were complaining that Business majors weren't getting the training that they needed, and in that for many of the jobs in Business, they would prefer an English degree (!)

      I thought: well that's nice to read. Not that I've seen much to support it in practice. But you know...

      "Counsel woven into the fabric of real life is wisdom" - Walter Benjamin

      by mahakali overdrive on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 03:50:27 PM PST

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      •  Stovepiping is the problem (5+ / 0-)

        You know, this thread has changed my mind in one sense.  Maybe history, philosophy, literature majors should be cut back.  Have competitive grants for the few that show real promise to actually be a full-time researcher or writer.  And if people want to pay their own way that's fine, but no loans.  And this was still doable as recently as 2004-08, if you live at home and work through college.  

        For everybody else, they probably should be guided into a career-based major--but they should also be encouraged, even required, to take more humanities classes.  For an accounting major, a few history classes will ultimately be worth much more than that 3rd or 4th elective in marketing.

        •  Savvy comment. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          elwior

          Much too sensible to implement, I fear.

        •  The big problem is that those careers (9+ / 0-)

          aren't really that great.  Education is one of the best degrees you can get in terms of getting a job, but I think we all know the constant attacks on teachers and their salaries.  Then there's the fact that most of the highly employable degrees are relatively small job markets.  Having a consumer economy means that our job market is shit.  That's the other thing no one wants to talk about.  You can't have an economy that's just people selling things and no one producing things.

          The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

          by AoT on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 04:05:53 PM PST

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          •  Community colleges should offer liberal arts too (6+ / 0-)

            Assuming we can actually rebuild manufacturing in this country, I see no reason why there shouldn't be a "2+1" or "2+2" degree where people who want to work in factories also have the option of taking some humanities classes, if they are interested.  

            Certainly, if such a program were to be affordable, you couldn't have the "star" $300K faculty members teaching those classes, but you could pay them like 5-10% more than high school teachers.  Some of my best high school teachers were a lot better than a few of my college instructors.

        •  Well, yes and no (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT, elwior, FourthOfJulyAsburyPark

          I think most in the Humanities would like to see their departments scaled back rather than overbloated since that disbenefits those there to learn; I see this every year with rising course sizes (from caps of 20 up to 120 in one case I'm thinking of!). There's also a definite problem with a glut now of graduate degrees which has backlogged jobs there.

          I wouldn't prioritize loans for one group or another. That could be discriminatory.

          Career-based majors? Why? I think these are good for those who are career-based. But that's a newer notion for employers under the header of "specialization." Specialization is a particularly pernicious outcropping of late Capitalism. Employers love to promote specialized degrees which are often bullshit! You can train for most career-based jobs without the kinds of requirements that most colleges require.

          Not sure if I'd ramp up more electives in the Humanities? I'd really have to think long and hard about that.

          My views are very specifically based on my personal observations in Higher Education: they are not ideologically driven, FWIW.

          "Counsel woven into the fabric of real life is wisdom" - Walter Benjamin

          by mahakali overdrive on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 04:13:10 PM PST

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          •  If you're going to do career based education (5+ / 0-)

            then just have trade schools.  That's what trade schools are.

            The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

            by AoT on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 05:00:45 PM PST

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            •  There used to be more distinction and (5+ / 0-)

              the trade schools were, I thought, a way better deal. At least some of the community colleges still offer decent training for some things here. BUT, employers are being so choosy about "that BA" or "that MA" with their microfocus that it's really hard, I think, for more trade-based schools to even operate.

              It's come down to branding. "You need a degree from a school with a good name to get this job" sayeth employers. What they don't saavy is the basic fact that they're pushing debt on people with this kind of crap. Sure, they can be super-picky and create all kinds of requirements and hoops. But that's just so corporate-ugly and typical. Maybe someday, the whole world will all be blond, 5'10", thin, blemish-free, and have an MBA from Harvard! Wouldn't that be kicky? What a labor force?! No ugly, dirty coal miners and no one funky or awkward! A work force free of people, hoorah! Cogs, cogs, cogs! Making widgets and widgets and widgets!

              It's something like that, isn't it?

              I went way off tangent, sorry. I am super fired up about this right now. For good reason.

              "Counsel woven into the fabric of real life is wisdom" - Walter Benjamin

              by mahakali overdrive on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 05:15:05 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Point being... (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                AoT, Cassandra Waites, elwior

                (holy non-sequitur)... that trade schools are a great deal financially, and it's too bad that employers don't give a shit about that so much as whether an employee has the highest possible qualifications for some seal-hooping job, or for a legitimate, highly-skilled job too in many cases, deferring instead to college self-branding.

                I want to barf when I see what the marketing departments dream up about my institution sometimes. It sounds like Fantasy Island.

                "Counsel woven into the fabric of real life is wisdom" - Walter Benjamin

                by mahakali overdrive on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 05:18:09 PM PST

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              •  I'm not against trade schools at all (4+ / 0-)

                I'm just against turning universities into trade schools.  We have a perfectly good community college system for that.

                No ugly, dirty coal miners and no one funky or awkward!
                Well, one would hope we don't have any new coal miners sometime soon, but for completely different reasons.  Hopefully we'll have ugly, dirty solar workers.  I would happily be one of those folks.  In fact, I see them coming and going all day while stuck behind my computer.  It'd be nice to have some sort of something to show for my labor at the end of the day other than some pictures on a web site.

                The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

                by AoT on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 05:30:25 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  What should happen (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          elwior, mahakali overdrive

          if that "career" disappears or its requirements totally change by the time the student graduates?

          Why I didn't support Hillary.

          Jon Husted is a dick.

          by anastasia p on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 06:16:44 PM PST

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      •  I've read something to that effect as well. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mahakali overdrive

        Certainly the notion that you're totally unemployable if you have a literature degree whereas employers will be banging down your door if you have a degree in a STEM field is wildly exaggerated.

        And why are communications majors everyone's punching bag? I have no idea what the statistics say, but all the communications majors I know personally are doing from average to well in journalism or a related field. Also, are we talking about how easy it is to find a job right out of school or where you are ten or twenty years later?

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