Thursday, July 26, 2012

What's a liberal arts degree worth nowadays?

I went to a liberal arts college - Morehouse College - and well I hear a lot about those students who graduated and are doing very well in their lives. What most students who attend and eventually graduate may not hear the reality. That is how to many of them start off before they do very well? 
Doomsayers be damned: America’s higher-education model, and its price tag, ain’t broke. So says Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro. In a recent op-ed for the L.A. Times, Schapiro and Lewis & Clark College President Barry Glassner argue that the college premium — the ratio of college earning to high school earnings — justifies the investment in higher education. Individuals with a college degree now make almost 85 percent more over a lifetime than those with only a high school diploma.

But statistics are tricky — while one economist opts to focus on the long-term returns, another is focused on the immediate future, which, for many recent college graduates, is bleak. More than 50 percent of bachelor’s degree-holders under the age of 25 were jobless or underemployed in the last year. So if and when a college graduate gets a job, he’s likely to earn, on average, $20,000 more annually than a person with a high school diploma. But when the average student is graduating with $25,000 in student-loan debt, he or she might be a bit more focused on getting a paycheck, any paycheck.

This might explain why, as Ohio University economics professor Richard Vedder is quick to point out, there are 80,000 bartenders and 115,000 janitors with bachelor’s degrees.
Looking at a graphic at the WBEZ article, I chose the wrong major. Should've majored in a science or engineering related field. If only I hadn't been so intimidated by science and math when I was in school!

BTW, to be fair I wasn't as aggressive as other graduating seniors when it came to looking for the next step in their futures. I never thought seriously about law school or graduate school in any way. It was more important to me to find a job, however, my search didn't really start until I finally graduated. Safe to say the ball was dropped and the situation today is what it is. 

Via Newsalert!

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