Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Lost Generation

How bad is it out there? For today’s college graduates things are very bad, indeed. The job market, aka, reality, is decidedly not being very friendly. Link here and here.

While some college grads are finding work, not enough are, and too few of those that do are finding jobs that place them on a career track.

Of the 78% that are employed, only 56% hold a job that requires a college degree.

Most of these young people also have a considerable amount of student loan debt to repay.

Thus, according to a recent study, something like 85% of college students graduate and move back in with their parents. Link here.

Since economists estimate that if you are not on a career track within 5 years, your chances of getting back on it are very, very slim, this looks to me like a lost generation in the making.

Of course, students in some majors are doing much better than students in other majors.

Top of the list are those who have teaching degrees. The statistics I saw do not say how many of these graduates are with Teach for America.

We should not be surprised, given the administration economic policies, that working for a government agency should be at the top of the list.

After teaching, the best majors all involve skill with numbers. Engineering, science, math, and business majors have found jobs. In the aggregate these jobs require college degrees. Thus, they have found career track jobs.

Those grads most likely to be unemployed majored in the humanities and in what the Times delicately calls “area studies.”

If you major in Latino Studies, Women’s Studies, or whatever other politically correct majors the schools have recently invented, you are most likely to be unemployed.

The same applies to humanities majors.

Whatever educators and intellectuals believe, the free job market is providing a reality check to their indoctrination.

It is not news, but it needs to be emphasized: employers have figured out that if you study the humanities or “area studies” you will not be fit to hire.

For those of you who are still in college, forewarned is forearmed.

Now, the amusing part.

I do not have any statistics, but I would venture that nearly all of these out-of-work humanists and area studies majors voted for Barack Obama. He was going to save the world and bring forth the reign of social justice?

And maybe they were on to something. If anyone is going to suffer the failures of Obamanomics, why shouldn’t it be those young people who so enthusiastically supported him?

That may not be quite the social justice they were bargaining for, but sometimes reality throws you a curve ball.


David Foster said...

From an email quoted at Instapundit:

"I run an economics department, but the best finance majors/economists are useless if they cannot communicate, and most of the people we interviewed could not even write a resume without a dozen cringe-worthy grammatical errors. The person I hired was a business/finance major, English minor. Most of the applicants we interviewed chose minors like gender studies or human sexuality, which would be fine if colleges emphasized writing in all courses, but they don’t, and these young men and women cannot write"

No one should get a college degree, in ANY major, without demonstrating reasonable writing ability. The fact that the above complaint is such a common one demonstrates that universities have been committing massive fraud, in the moral if not in the strict legal sense.

The Ghost said...

"While some college grads are finding work, not enough are, and too few of those that do are finding jobs that place them on a career track."

A career track job right out of college ???

Please ... If you graduate college and expect to start a lifelong career in your first job then I would suggest you are an idiot who just wasted 4 years ...

Stuart Schneiderman said...

By "career track" I meant a job that required a college diploma, thus, a job that can proudly be displayed on one's resume as a step up the ladder.

As the articles suggest, many of the jobs that young people are forced to take do not merit that distinction.

Of course, the email quoted by David is completely relevant. Since the ability to write clear and cogent English prose is no longer a qualification for a teaching job in a university, to say nothing of tenure, from whom would these students learn how to write.

These discussions always remind me of uber-professor Judith Butler, who holds a chair at Berkeley, and who has been the worthy recipient of an award for the worst writer in America.

Anonymous said...

Students shouldn't run towards a teaching career thinking that it's a secure job. The unspoken secret of public school funding is that many excellent teachers are cut after several years, usually before the year in which they would have been granted tenure. I know dozens of good, dedicated teachers who lost their jobs this way. They go to another district where it happens all over again a few years later.