Thursday, April 28, 2011

Oh, But Define "Useless"

The Wichita Bureau showcases a Daily Beast piece on the "20 most useless college degrees"--and oddly, "German" and "Classics" are not on the list (perhaps too trivial to notice?). Some are easy to guess--journalism and advertising, low pay, lousy prospects, declining availability of openings. What puzzles me is the number of artsy fields in which--though they are on the list--openings are said to be on the increase. Hello, is the world really going to need more theater majors? And what is it with "Mechanical Engineering Technology"--small number of grads, fairly good salary prospects?   Why is the number of openings in decline while all those artsy fields are going up?

[But wait, I just noticed what looks suspiciously like a glitch in the data. For "number of students awarded degrees 2008-2009:" the lists reports the same number in half dozen or so different fields--89,140." Looks to me like maybe somebody took the gross number for a whole bunch of different subfields and reported it in each one of the subfields separately.]  

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