Saturday, December 29, 2012

College is dead, long live college

Just passing this on.  I know everyone is on board with the meme that too many folks are going to college; that we overeducating folks at great expense.  Funny that the labor market does not quite agree with that assessment.  Some parsing of recent Census data by the folks at Bizjournals (parent of the PBT) is this: Earnings widen between college and high school-only grads

Funny that. 

For Pennsylvania their table shows the median annual income by educational attainment to be:

High school graduate - $28,425
Bachelor's Degree - $48,563
Graduate or Professional Degree - $65,047

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those numbers for grad school hide a lot of things.

One is that there is a broad range in quality of education and resulting opportunities, e.g. a law degree from Harvard <> a law degree from Duquesne.

Second is that those numbers obscure fields of study. Degrees in English <> Degrees in Chemistry; the job markets need more technical graduates and is being fed more non-technical graduates.

The statement that we are over-educating at great expense is correct; but mostly because we allow the mis-allocation of educational resources, in large part through telling each special little snowflake that they can take as much debt as they need to chase their educational dream.

We either need to make education cheaper so that all courses of study are viable or we need to guide students to better choices of major / field of specialty.

We have too many people who are Highly educated in questionably useful fields; and too few that are educated in highly useful fields.

Saturday, December 29, 2012 11:49:00 AM  
Anonymous MH said...

In my experience, people talking of "useful fields" usually mean either, 1) that kids should do whatever they like to think of themselves as having done when they were 18 after having had enough years pass to repress what was actually done or 2) whatever it is that they want to pay somebody $15/hour to do and still have many qualified candidates apply for jobs.

Saturday, December 29, 2012 12:29:00 PM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

I suppose we could force some kids to major in certain fields. Seems a bit Soviet-esque to me, but that is what a lot of these arguments sound like to me.

and I am pretty sure the number of Harvard law grads is so small (and so extreme) that it does not impact the rounding error on those median income stats. In fact since those are medians, I wonder about the argument altogether. The disparity in average incomes must be a lot higher, but the median incomes must better reflect the typical college grad which is not going to be a STEM type major (or Harvard JD)

Sunday, December 30, 2012 11:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard a news story over the holidays about Florida Gov. Rick Scott proposing that state-supported universities charge more for student's taking non-useful majors, i.e., humanities, and that the Big Business community could guide the decision-making about which majors are useful. Such a plan, promoted by a nutty conservative and criminal like Scott, blows the notion right off the table for me.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013 9:02:00 AM  
Anonymous MH said...

Somebody really should put a stop to the undergraduate business major. Either go to a community college or get a real major.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013 12:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@MH

You could make the same argument about MBAs. Why do they exist? Just teach everything you learn in business school to undergraduates. Think about the absurdity of majoring in business and going back to MBA school (which isn't uncommon). Just combine the two.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013 1:37:00 PM  

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