Some higher education pundits argue that colleges are doomed to the fate of the music industry, in that the internet will force colleges to “unbundle” their degrees into customizable formats. This logic is flawed, according to the Atlantic’s Derek Newton: “A music purchase is an entertainment indulgence with minimal investment and limited risk of bad decision making. Choosing the right college, on the other hand, often involves years of research and planning.” Moreover, in higher education, notions of efficiency are highly subjective: “On campus, even business students, for example, are typically required to study literature and other topics in the humanities. Some may call that inefficient; others call it essential.” Read the full article here.
Humanities degrees are rarely praised for their practicality. Indeed, numerous policy leaders, and even President Obama, routinely push STEM fields. The perceived earnings picture for graduates of the humanities is usually thought of as even more bleak. This is hardly the case, however, according to Forbes’s Jeffery Dorfman. In fact, English, French, history, philosophy, and political science graduates have an average return of about 300-700% on their college investment. Read the full article here.
President Christopher B. Nelson, of St. John's College, penned an editorial in The Washington Post that sought to defend the value of a Liberal Arts education. Wrote Nelson, "The lens of economics distorts our judgment about the true worth of higher education. The things that matter most in education...do not fit this [economics] paradigm. They are not scarce, and yet they are extremely valuable—indeed they are among the most valuable in human life. They do not become scarce by being shared. Instead, they expand and grow the more they are shared." Read the full article here.
"College in today's economy is like sunscreen on a scorchingly hot afternoon: You have to see the people who didn’t apply it to fully appreciate how important it is. The same way a blistering sun both makes sunscreen feel ineffective and makes it more crucial than ever, recessions can both make a college degree seem ineffective and make it more important than ever." --Derek Thompson, The Atlantic Read the full article here.