In today’s version of “is this really news to anyone” we learn that 50% of recent college grads are unemployed or underemployed. Alternatively, the article could be entitled “some college majors are better than others.”
In this article, we learn of the employment struggles of recent graduates with art history, humanities, and philosophy degrees. To that, I say, “Um, Duh!” I could have told you that a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy isn’t going to lead to a plethora of job prospects. After all, when was the last time you saw an ad that said: “Help wanted: Philosopher to work in a busy philosophy shop.” Indeed, about the only thing you can do with a philosophy degree is ponder “Why” people want fries with that.
A college degree is a useful tool if you study the right subject. It’s not, however, a magic ticket to future riches. Shockingly, employers are looking for employees with useful skills, not just ones that made it through school. The real travesty here is that we’ve convinced students otherwise. They spend 4 years of their lives and go into massive debt to study something they “enjoy” but is ultimately irrelevant. The result is that we’ve got some of the best-educated, deepest-in-debt baristas in the world.