MAJOR DISAPPOINTMENTS, Part II

In part I of this article, we learned that several college majors have absolutely no value in securing employment following graduation.  We also learned the economic benefits of eliminating them from college curricula.  In the interest of saving time and even more money—while eliminating those dreadful all-nighters cramming for exams covering subjects that won’t benefit you anyway—I hereby list another five majors flunking the relevance test.

6.  History.  Now you’d think, considering the average high school student’s ignorance of even his own country’s history, that this field would be begging for history majors.  Unfortunately, claims the report, “We are not a contemplative society,” i.e., thinking is not our strong point.  Furthermore, most history majors (who tend to be teachers) are finding little hope for employment since there are so many of them and “school districts are more likely to be cutting back than hiring.”  Let me see if I have this straight:  We are not a contemplative society, we cut back on hiring history teachers, students don’t learn history, so we are not a contemplative society.  Is public education great or what?!!!

7.  Psychology.   With so many screwed up people running around today psychology majors should be more necessary than ever.  The most likely way psych majors will find work is if they go on to graduate work.  Otherwise, according to the report, they’ll find themselves in competition for barista jobs with other psych majors.  That could be a real grind for the ol’ bean.

8.  Biology.  A plain old biology degree just won’t cut it today.  Having given up on the idea of med school because of the “cost, difficulty and length of study,” many biology majors often seek lower-level research or technician jobs where there is a lot of competition but few jobs.  Better to forget dissecting frogs and look instead for work in biotech or pharmaceutical industries.  Biology instructors might get hopping mad but the frogs will be leaping for joy.

9.  English.  According to the report “this is the road more traveled by, with not nearly enough writing, teaching, publishing or journalism jobs for all the students who graduate with a yen for the written word.”  In addition, the digital impact on many fields of media makes it extra tough.  Which is why I fear for the future of English:  With all the texting going on these days and the stunted language of abbreviations and acronyms it entails, I expect that eventually a lot of people will have to enroll in ESL (English as a Second Language) classes in order to speak using entire words again— preferably before their thumbs fall off.

10.  Economics.  The supply of graduates in this major outnumbers the demand.  I find this curious considering the mess our economy is in right now.  Apparently all those economists who are working aren’t doing such a great job.  Maybe they should step down and give the new grads a chance.  Or maybe it’s just that college economics programs aren’t worth a dime.  Heck, even a dime isn’t worth a dime anymore.  That’s my two cents worth, anyway.

Judging by this list I’m a goner.  A former perpetual student, I went back to school numerous times.  My scholastic résumé includes majors in criminal justice (#2), communications, English (#9), and history (#6), as well as library science (a Master’s program), and a few journalism courses besides.  I did graduate with a B.A. in humanities (one of those liberal arts and sciences, #5) and, later, a B.A. in philosophy (another liberal arts degree—I’m a slow learner).  I also did some graduate work in philosophy (ethics).  All that philosophy allows me to, as they say, sit around and think deep thoughts about being unemployed.*  As for me, it’s back to scouring the job listings.

*Quote from Dragon:  The Bruce Lee Story.  Dir. Rob Cohen.   With Jason Scott Lee and Lauren Holly.  Universal Pictures, 1993.

WES

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