Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

China To Cancel College Majors That Don't Pay

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the bad-news-philosophy-majors dept.

Education 463

theodp writes "The WSJ reports that China's Ministry of Education plans to phase out majors producing unemployable graduates. The government will soon start evaluating college majors by their employment rates, downsizing or cutting those studies in which more than 60% of graduates fail for two consecutive years to find work. What if the U.S. government were to adopt China's approach? According to the most recent U.S. census data, among the first majors to go: psychology, U.S. history and military technologies. Lest you computer programmers get too smug, consider this."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Is it that bad? (3, Funny)

masternerdguy (2468142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176346)

OH noes, I can't get my degree in Native American History anymore!

What if the U.S. government were to adopt China's? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38176470)

OWS would never happen.

Re:What if the U.S. government were to adopt China (2)

colinrichardday (768814) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176506)

Of course, that might be considered a feature, not a bug.

Re:What if the U.S. government were to adopt China (5, Funny)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176610)

Fortunately you don't even need a degree to be in the Tea Party.

Re:Is it that bad? (5, Insightful)

blue trane (110704) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176518)

It's bad because Liberty is an unalienable right, and the government has no business deciding what you should study.

We are tool-builders, and we created money as a tool to help us. Instead we find economists treating money as a God to which we must sacrifice humans (not them, but other, poorer, humans).

Unemployment is a good thing, a sign of economic progress, the result of higher productivity. What we should do is provide a basic income to everyone who wants one, and hold challenges to stimulate innovation and the advance of knowledge. Because it is knowledge that confers the greatest survival benefit by enabling us to better predict and adapt to sudden catastrophic change.

Re:Is it that bad? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38176522)

Not paying for it != saying you can't do it. They just want state money going somewhere that will actually return something.

Re:Is it that bad? (4, Interesting)

dak664 (1992350) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176666)

I both agree and disagree with that. The survival of a species during a sudden change is enhanced by the diversity of individuals, viz. Von Neumann's theory that random moves are the best strategy in any sufficiently complicated game. So I am for Liberty and against government manipulations, whether to provide a basic standard of living or to subsidize education.

Re:Is it that bad? (4, Funny)

just_a_monkey (1004343) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176668)

I want a basic income. Should I just email you my account number so you can start making deposits, or how do you want to go about it?

Re:Is it that bad? (1, Insightful)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176686)

Don't be silly. He doesn't mean he gives you money, he means the Government's money, which, as everyone knows, doesn't count as other people's money at all. Because, you know, it's the Government!

Re:Is it that bad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38176760)

I agree on your point to some degree, but dude, this "60% of graduates fail for two consecutive years to find work". Is that too much to ask, really? Like, get 61% of the graduates to some meaningful employment in 2 years? Our opinion from the west doesn't have much weight when they "rent a 100-square-foot studio apartment for $90 a month".

Re:Is it that bad? (4, Insightful)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176564)

OH noes, I can't get my degree in Native American History anymore!

If Native American History is what you want to study, the government has no right to tell you you can't. And even the most obscure and narrow fields of study could have some wider applicability. For all you know, by studying Native American History you could learn about nomadic or warrior-like tribes react when exposed to an outside, hostile force. Can you think of a couple situations that are happening right now where this might apply? I can. You can discover migration patterns of groups of people in response to certain stimuli such as drastic climate changes (early American inhabitants such as Clovis/paleo-Indian civilizations) or eradication of a primary food source. Again, events that could reasonably happen in the foreseeable future. Suddenly Native American History doesn't seem so easy to discard, does it?

Re:Is it that bad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38176746)

Pillock. Pay for it yourself, and keep your damn mitts out of my wallet.

Re:Is it that bad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38176752)

Actually it still seems easy to discard.

Fuck China (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38176348)

I want to know why youtube is showing bestiality? WTF

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpo_b71VVcQ [youtube.com]

Re:Fuck China (4, Informative)

Montezumaa (1674080) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176388)

What in the fuck is wrong with you? You think that posting links to bestiality is funny?

Do Not Click that link! It does contain a video of bestiality.

Re:Fuck China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38176416)

Why did you click it? Youtube or not, I wouldn't click that shit...

Re:Fuck China (2)

guybrush3pwood (1579937) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176562)

You think that posting links to bestiality is funny?

I like bestiality. Get off my lawn!!

Re:Fuck China (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38176584)

You think that posting links to bestiality is funny?

I like bestiality. Get off my lawn!!

Bestiality: sex with niggers.

Re:Fuck China (4, Funny)

Weedhopper (168515) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176682)

There's a Yo Dawg joke in there somewhere.

Re:Fuck China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38176754)

Yuck, a pitbull doing a girl, that's disgusting.

Why couldn't you link to a video of a girl with a husky, a collie, a golden retriever, a german shepherd... you know, any breed that's not so damn ugly?

Not really necessary to do. (3, Insightful)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176354)

That will just shift unemployable people to other majors!

Psych (4, Insightful)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176356)

Psych is a default major for girls. If you effectively cancel it, you will just have a new default major.

(Default majors are the majors that undecided people go into.)

Of course, if you channeled default majors to fields we could really use people in, the average quality of that field's graduates would go down, but the quantity of available talent would go up.

Re:Psych (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176406)

The quantity of available talent might go up, assuming your definition of talent requires some minimum level of actual ability.

Re:Psych (1)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176672)

This is rated interesting? Some cheap swipe at women and a vague insinuation that you know what fields are most needed? Let me guess, you think we need more engineers, right? Well, I work with loads of engineers and I can tell you we don't need more. What we really need are more psych and English majors who are great at writing proposals and applications for grants.

Re:Psych (4, Insightful)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176696)

Some cheap swipe at women

Uh-huh. Because saying that there's such a thing as default majors, and that women often choose psychology as theirs, is an example of rampant sexual prejudice. Because, through failed inference, you assume he doesn't think that men also have a default major.

What we really need are more psych and English majors who are great at writing proposals and applications for grants.

Yeah, the real productive work.

Re:Psych (2)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176744)

"Yeah, the real productive work"

Yep. "No bucks, no Buck Rogers.". You ought to watch that movie. How many engineers do you employ when there are no projects in the pipeline? None. How do projects get into the pipeline? That's right, through proposal and grant writing.

What the fuck are you talking about, son? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38176770)

Psychology is, generally, quite a useless pursuit. Anything practical can be learned solely by interacting with people. Anything theoretic has limited value in practice. The gender of the student or the teacher is irrelevant; males learning about psychology are just as useless as females. Take your false cries of "sexism" elsewhere, son.

The problem you describe isn't that more people are needed to write "proposals" and "applications for grants". The need for scientists and engineers to beg for money and resources from useless political or commercial bureaucracy (usually made up of people who studied useless degrees) is the problem. Everything about such a system is inefficient, and that's why engineers have a hard time dealing with it. They are trained to eliminate inefficiency. Those psychology majors, on the other hand, have been trained to embrace and spread inefficiency.

This inherent inefficiency is why the American economy is stagnating. You have the most useless people in your society making the most important calls and mismanaging the resources and financing, while those who will do the right thing (generally engineers and scientists) are subjected to time-wasting bureaucracy, rather than being allowed to freely and efficiently use their skills to make the entire economy more efficient.

Hai! Canz Send Kids to Trade Skool? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38176358)

Need Belly Rubberz

well trades schools do need a boust / rework (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176404)

As there is a lot that can used in college that is lacking that you can learn at the tech / trade school level.

US should dump a lot of filler classes (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176362)

In college and cut the time to 3 years.

Re:US should dump a lot of filler classes (5, Insightful)

Firethorn (177587) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176436)

Actually, I think that the US needs to make high school worth something again.

Second would be encouraging technical schools, stuff where businesses are screaming they can't find employees.

Third would be reigning in the cost of an education. There shouldn't be any excuse for tuition to be skyrocketing like it has for as long as it has. It's a classic sign of a bubble.

Fourth would perhaps be cutting funding for, as the op mentions, 'unproductive majors'.

Re:US should dump a lot of filler classes (5, Insightful)

blue trane (110704) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176536)

Productivity should measure happiness and quality of life, not number of dollars produced. Money is a tool to serve us, not the other way around.

Re:US should dump a lot of filler classes (2)

swalve (1980968) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176590)

Instead of redefining productivity, how about you just use "happiness" and "quality of life"?

Re:US should dump a lot of filler classes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38176758)

"Tool is a money to serve us" - the other way around makes no sense.

Ahhh! An idealist (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176766)

happiness and quality of life, not number of dollars

I think you'd be genuinely surprised just how much happiness and QoL a reasonable amount of dollars can buy you - provided you apply them properly (and don't waste them on divorce lawyers - or any other kind of lawyers). Maybe the course that's missing is how to use your money effectively.

the tech schools need a apprenticeship part (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176552)

to going along with hands on lab based classes as there only so much that can be down in the lab and real work place has lot's software / setups and more that is all over the place.

Re:US should dump a lot of filler classes (2)

jjh37997 (456473) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176592)

Third would be reigning in the cost of an education. There shouldn't be any excuse for tuition to be skyrocketing like it has for as long as it has. It's a classic sign of a bubble.

Educational costs have been rising for the same reason housing price rose.... easy access to credit. Get rid of educational loans and tuition will drop.

Re:US should dump a lot of filler classes (5, Insightful)

SuurMyy (1003853) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176604)

The businesses complain, because they want cheap labour. Therefore they will complain until there is an excess of people for a given field and they lower salaries, etc. So listening to their complaints is questionable.

Re:US should dump a lot of filler classes (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176774)

Or, it could be that there are plenty of specialties where there aren't enough good people. Unemployment in IT is around 5% which is a fairly tight labor market, throw in some specific requirements and it's easy to see why some companies might complain that they can't find good people despite a rough broader economy. As an example we had an open position for a DBA with experience with JDE on Oracle and SQL Server experience, we looked for over six months while using consultants to do the work in the meantime. After interviewing three candidates and making one offer which wasn't accepted (they got a better offer elsewhere) we decided to outsource the position to a regional DBA consortium. We were offering around six figures which is a ton in NE Ohio.

You never know. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38176724)

Fourth would perhaps be cutting funding for, as the op mentions, 'unproductive majors'.

Back in the 80s when I went to college, we were all gung ho about careers - everyone wanted to go to medical school, engineering school*, law school and B-school - in that order. Science degrees were just a stepping stone to med school - except for math. You see back then, Math degrees were pretty much for teaching or if you were really sharp - actuarial. And when folks asked about one's major and they said "Math" the very next question was "Actuarial" while wrinkling their nose.

Flash forward 20 years later with Google and what not and having a Math degree (other than actuarial) is actually worth something. My have times changed. Just imagine what would have happened if all those kids didn't get that worthless degree.

Russian Lit? Pictures of a Russian Literature major who did alright. [google.com]

Then there are folks who actually study something to get a job - like nursing - only to graduate and find that there still aren't any jobs (According to the American Journal of Nursing, this is the worst job market for newly graduated nurses ever.). You never know what is going to happen or how things will change.

And then again, There are folks doing quite well with Philosophy degrees and Art History Many get into big company training programs (they still exist), fast track management programs or in marketing and sales - places where creative flexible thinking is involved. Thinking that the Humanities and Arts are only capable in teaching. St. Steve Jobs was quoted as saying that Engineers are too linear in their thinking.

*The exception is aerospace engineering. For the exception of the exceptionally bright guys with contacts, job prospects have always sucked. I think AE was the second most popular degree that programmers and admins I worked with had after CS.

Re:US should dump a lot of filler classes (5, Insightful)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176732)

Actually, I think that the US needs to make high school worth something again.

Far too much control has shifted to the Educational Institution in this country to allow that to ever happen. Just look at the financial numbers behind a recent firing of a football coach and his staff.

Second would be encouraging technical schools, stuff where businesses are screaming they can't find employees.

Hey you businesses! Any of you want to pay a decent wage for all those vocational/technical jobs you're screaming for?

(crickets)

(Hmmm...I wonder if there's a correlation there...)

Third would be reigning in the cost of an education. There shouldn't be any excuse for tuition to be skyrocketing like it has for as long as it has. It's a classic sign of a bubble.

When you realize that the same people who brought you the financial meltdown are a lot of the same people who sit on the boards of higher education, you'll see exactly what kind of "bubble" they expect. If it's anything like the financial "bubble", they can't bring on an impending educational and financial apocalypse (and subsequent bailout for them to pocket) fast enough.

Fourth would perhaps be cutting funding for, as the op mentions, 'unproductive majors'.

Which I happen to think is an absolute horrible idea. When the entire purpose of higher education becomes the relentless pursuit of small pieces of little green paper, don't expect the true value of education to shine through. The arts...music...philosophy...all will become a dying breed(as if Autotune didn't kill music enough). All of them will fall victim to the greed and corruption that has taken control of this world. And it sickens me. If that is what we want to define as an "education", then don't expect the rest of the world to consider our society worth a shit as a whole as we march around as an Army of Borg representing nothing but well-educated Greed.

Re:US should dump a lot of filler classes (3, Insightful)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176444)

Why on earth would they want to make college cheaper? It's a business like anything else. Everyone knows a fair amount of the courses in most degree programs are required solely for the purposes of generating income.

Re:US should dump a lot of filler classes (1)

blue trane (110704) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176550)

What about free online classes like Stanford, Khan Academy etc. are providing? What about IRC, where ppl help each other for free? Give up your old feudal paradigms, embrace the new information age where the cost of disseminating knowledge is basically zero.

So, failing is good? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38176382)

"downsizing or cutting those studies in which less than 60% of graduates fail for two consecutive years to find work"

So, the only courses they'll keep are the ones where at least 60% of graduates are unemployable?

Re:So, failing is good? (1)

kiddygrinder (605598) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176674)

the intent of the sentence was pretty clear you dirty pedant

Economics, or stability? (5, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176390)

Historically, students and 'intellectuals' have been perceived(sometimes accurately, sometimes with paranoia verging on hysteria) as menaces to the social and political establishment...

I'd be interested to know how much of this is purely about resource allocation and how much of it is about ensuring that absolutely as many people as possible are doing something practical, chasing the brass ring, and generally staying out of idle theorizing and similar such trouble...

Re:Economics, or stability? (4, Informative)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176520)

This is especially true in China, during the cultural revolution academics were often dragged out of their houses and put on trials in kangaroo courts for being part of the bourgeoisie. Part of the reason China's university system is still pretty weak is that they literally killed off most of their academics and installed party shills instead.

Re:Economics, or stability? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38176618)

academics were often dragged out of their houses and put on trials in kangaroo courts.........they literally killed off most of their academics.............

I'm trying to see the downside..........

Re:Economics, or stability? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38176706)

This is rated as "insightful"? Man why did I bother checking out slashdot...never ever again!

Re:Economics, or stability? (5, Interesting)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176612)

I think it might be a combination of both. People who are busy working seldom have time for thinking, and majors that focus on employable work rarely lift the mind to contemplation of things like human rights or freedom.

Most of the great thinkers in human history have been educated (self or through establishments) in the "liberal arts" (literally, the freeing arts, specifically geometry, astronomy, music, arithmetic, grammar, logic, and rhetoric). Nowadays, liberal arts has an extremely poor reputation, because those who seek it seldom do so out of interest in the higher things, but it used to be that people who learned them did so because they were interested in advancing the state of human knowledge, and in lifting humanity as a whole towards higher and better things. Also, because today's culture focuses so highly on productivity, and people who study those areas are rarely great producers of goods.

What they do produce are things like the concept of human rights, new (and sometimes better) political and economic systems, great works of literature, and new areas of mathematics. Sure, you can use some of those things to produce money, but generally the more important thing is the evolution of human knowledge. It is quite unfortunate that society does not generally value that, because our culture would be tremendously impoverished did they not exist. Don Quixote wasn't a work that paid a lot of money: but it did greatly enhance human culture.

Oh yeah, and those people also tend to produce revolutions in human society (such as Marxism, somewhat ironically). It is pretty obvious that governments which are interested primarily in preserving the status quo and not in the good of it's citizens wouldn't encourage such leisurely pursuits.

Hmmm... (4, Informative)

mpsmps (178373) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176392)

...cutting those studies in which less than 60% of graduates fail for two consecutive years to find work.

I guess the headline should be "China to Cancel College Majors That Do Pay

Re:Hmmm... (1)

chrism238 (657741) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176432)

Agreed, or change the headline to "China to Terminate Bureaucrats Who Fail Basic Statistics".

Re:Hmmm... (1)

k8to (9046) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176654)

Slashdot editors to not encourage lack of insufficient reading comprehension for the text that submitters don't send.

move IT / MIS to tech school / apprenticeship. CS (3, Interesting)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176396)

CS should be for the higher level theory based stuff.

But the other stuff like tech work, programing, web, it security, IT management needs to have less theory and more hands on work. As well class room with more of tech school based course load.

Re:move IT / MIS to tech school / apprenticeship. (1)

d3matt (864260) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176588)

the theory is what you get at school. the hands on is what you get starting at your first job. you have to have both...

Re:move IT / MIS to tech school / apprenticeship. (2)

trygstad (815846) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176670)

Some schools cover the gamut; the university where I teach has Computer Engineering, Computer Science and Information Technology; we also have an undergraduate business program which is introducing substantial specializations in CS or IT. We have CE and CS through the PhD level and IT through a Master's Degree. BTW, I teach information technology and have for nine years now, and IT works very well in a university environment. Lately some employers hiring coders have been seeking out our graduates over CS grads because coders in our IT program emerge as application developers, while coders from CS are just programmers--they know all the underlying algorithms but don't know how to apply them to solving real business problems.

That is what alot of the CS is missing also IT wor (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176720)

That is what alot of the CS is missing also IT work is it's own and is differnt from programing.

Now the Tech schools are good with some theory and lot's of hands on specializations.

Re:move IT / MIS to tech school / apprenticeship. (1)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176710)

As long as jobs are demanding CS qualifications for development work, developers are going to go for CS qualifications. It's just another case of degree inflation that's been going on for decades.

Now why can't doctors have a 2-3 year pre med (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176410)

Now why can't doctors have a 2-3 year pre med school that cut's down the cost and time that they are in school do they really need a full 4-5 years before med school?

Re:Now why can't doctors have a 2-3 year pre med (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38176464)

Yes. They do. They really really do. Because I've taught the pre-med kids and by god they are NOT scientists when they come in. It's not just that they don't know very much - that we can fix by forcing them to study like crazy. But they can't THINK logically, solve problems analytically and it takes at least 4-5 years for most of them to actually finally begin to understand statistics, hypothesis testing, selection bias etc that they need before med school.

I have little respect for many MDs as they appear to be inferior to databases, but at least they have some analytic skill. If you cut the premed you cut that. It makes me shudder to think of the kids only 2-3 years in being anywhere near making a treatment decision on someone with the flu, let alone diagnosing a complicated illness.

Re:Now why can't doctors have a 2-3 year pre med (2)

Weedhopper (168515) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176734)

Oh please. Like most graduates with MDs have the slightest clue about statistics, hypothesis testing, selection bias, etc.

What's even worse is that most of them do believe they've got a clue and believe themselves to be more competent than they really are.

Most of the rest of the world does fine with 6-7 year combined medical programs. One could make the argument that as a whole, they do better as measured by health outcomes of the general population.

The real issue in the US is this absurd notion that the MD is the equivalent of academic doctorate.

Re:Now why can't doctors have a 2-3 year pre med (2)

dcollins (135727) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176490)

Partly for spelling and grammar. No, I kid.

Re:Now why can't doctors have a 2-3 year pre med (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176722)

Better yet, have them learn on the job straight out of high school. Sure, they'll screw up a lot at first, but by the time they've apprenticed for as long as it takes now to get through college and get an MD they'll be almost as good as the old guys.

What's wrong with this? (4, Insightful)

ShooterNeo (555040) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176414)

What is wrong with doing this? China isn't banning knowledge about useless majors, it's simply declining to pay people to study majors that don't train people to be contributing members to society.

The USA should absolutely do the same. We need more engineers and less psychology majors.

Re:What's wrong with this? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38176476)

What is wrong with doing this? China isn't banning knowledge about useless majors, it's simply declining to pay people to study majors that don't train people to be contributing members to society.

The USA should absolutely do the same. We need more engineers and less psychology majors.

What happens when 60% of engineers are unemployable? This policy ignores the 40% of these majors that have jobs.

The most fundamental problem with this is that a university education is NOT vocational training. It's not meant to be nor should it ever be. The problem in the US is that we have devalued trade schools. Not enough people are going into trades like plumber, carpenter, mechanic, etc...

then why do some places what BA, PHD, MA (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176558)

For jobs like mail room or help desk level 1.

Re:then why do some places what BA, PHD, MA (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38176640)

Why are the failings of Industry hiring practices the problem of the University system?

But I can think of a few reasons that you would want a degree for people in these positions.
1. They don't intend the employ to stay in that position.
2. The completion of a University shows a work ethic. The ability to accomplish a tack.

Re:What's wrong with this? (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176700)

What happens when 60% of engineers are unemployable?

Wasn't that around the start of the 1990s? Almost nobody employs engineers unless they are trying to do something new. Most of the class I was in are in other fields or are academics now.

Re:What's wrong with this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38176772)

What happens when 60% of engineers are unemployable?

Wasn't that around the start of the 1990s? Almost nobody employs engineers unless they are trying to do something new. Most of the class I was in are in other fields or are academics now.

And think what would have happened if they had canned all Engineering majors. Suddenly when they need Engineers again there are no new students ready and no people to start teaching engineering.

Nope, still smug (2)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176424)

Armies of "ants", where one happened to stumble into a computer programming job?

Sorry, but I'll worry when more than 10% of any population takes a REAL interest in computer programming and not just just as a job. If you are just looking at computer work as a source of a job you may have issues, but for those who find computer programming to be a calling I think they'll be able to make do just fine.

Great Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38176438)

Darwin applied to academics.

The US fields with highest unemployment (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38176442)

According to the link in TFA, the US majors with the highest unemployment rates [wsj.com] are

  • Psychology, 19.5%
  • Fine arts, 16.2%
  • US history, 15.1%
  • Library science, 15%
  • Educational psychology, 10.9%

The first computer-related field is "computer administration management and security" at 9.5%. Whatever the heck that is - sounds like a wannabe-degree.

Anyhow, it's an interesting table, because you can sort by unemployment, earnings or popularity...

Re:The US fields with highest unemployment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38176684)

Interestingly:

History, 6.5%
Sociology, 7.0%
Political Science, 6.0%
Communications, 6.3%
Area Ethnic and Civilization Studies, 5.7%
French, German, Latin and Other Common Foreign Language Studies: 5.9%
English Language and Literature: 6.7%

This was in 2010. Unemployment rate: >9%.

If you're one of those people who says "Don't get an English degree, because you'll be unemployable," take note: you're fucking wrong.

CS vs "Mathematics and CS" (1)

jmcbain (1233044) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176704)

Thanks for the great resource at the WSJ. Interestingly, it separately lists "Computer Science" (median salary $77K) and "Mathematics and Computer Science" (median salary $91K). I wonder what the difference is. Is the latter a double-major in math and CS or a specialized type of CS? Do those guys go into computational finance or something?

Re:The US fields with highest unemployment (2)

nbauman (624611) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176716)

I saw that on CBS Moneywatch.

I don't see any clear pattern there. Do these unemployment numbers stay constant from year to year? Or will they be completely different 5 years from now when you graduate?

I don't think this gives much support to the line, "It's your own fault that you took out college loans and still can't get a job. You should have studied something useful."

Maybe you could guess that visual and performing arts might not be a marketable major, but engineering and industrial management?

Maybe composition and speech, but materials engineering and material science?

Maybe fine arts. But genetics? Biochemical sciences?

Maybe philosophy and religious studies. But neuroscience?

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505145_162-57325132/25-college-majors-with-the-highest-unemployment-rates/ [cbsnews.com]

CBS MoneyWatch
November 16, 2011 9:30 AM
25 college majors with the highest unemployment rates
By Lynn O'Shaughnessy

        1. Clinical psychology 19.5%
        2. Miscellaneous fine arts 16.2%
        3. United States history 15.1%
        4. Library science 15.0%
        5. (tie) Military technologies; educational psychology 10.9%
        6. Architecture 10.6%
        7. Industrial & organizational psychology 10.4%
        8. Miscellaneous psychology 10.3%
        9. Linguistics & comparative literature 10.2%
        10. (tie) Visual & performing arts; engineering & industrial management 9.2%
        11. Engineering & industrial management 9.2%
        12. Social psychology 8.8%
        13. International business 8.5%
        14. Humanities 8.4%
        15. General social sciences 8.2%
        16. Commercial art & graphic design 8.1%
        17. Studio art 8.0%
        18. Pre-law & legal studies 7.9%
        19. Materials engineering and materials science and composition & speech (tie) 7.7%
        20. Liberal arts 7.6%
        21. (tie) Fine arts and genetics 7.4%
        22. Film video & photography arts and cosmetology services & culinary arts (tie) 7.3%
        23. Philosophy & religious studies and neuroscience (tie) 7.2%
        24. Biochemical sciences 7.1%
        25. (tie) Journalism and sociology 7.0%

Re:The US fields with highest unemployment (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176718)

Sounds like it's supposed to be a sysadmin degree.

Re:The US fields with highest unemployment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38176730)

The first computer-related field is "computer administration management and security" at 9.5%. Whatever the heck that is - sounds like a wannabe-degree.

The care and maintenance of large networks, mainframes, supercomputers etc. More of a trade school (or in my case self-education) issue than something universities should teach.

Why is education socialized anyway? (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176454)

The whole premise here reeks of socialism - why is it up to the US government to fund, or not fund, higher education? In China it's understandable, but here?

Re:Why is education socialized anyway? (3, Insightful)

Kraftwerk (629978) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176496)

Why?! Free votes, who wouldn't vote for someone offering something like free education, or massive loans to anybody. Then the schools know how much you're getting, and guess what, prices shoot up to match the max the government gives you.

Re:Why is education socialized anyway? (5, Interesting)

godrik (1287354) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176634)

Because otherwise education is only available to rich people. It means you filter people to get a high education based on the money their parent have instead of the natural ability of the kid. It is first extremely unfair (but you would classify that as a socialist problem) but it also mean that you prevent very smart people to get a reasonnable education and contribute positively to the society. Instead they are going to work for walmart.

Time look at the middle ages roots in today's coll (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176460)

Time look at the middle ages roots in today's colleges and think of how meany majors are left overs for the past, stuff that has been dragged out and bloated out to 4 years.

totalitairian states don't want intellectuals. (3, Insightful)

Virtucon (127420) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176474)

Intellectuals such as some in academia create progressive ideas that disrupt the cultural order of society. Therefore creating more of them will create more instability in society.

The view therefore is to only create a society of people who will not rock the boat and make society or in this case, the party, wealthy.

That's BS. (1)

sam0737 (648914) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176484)

At the end of the day, graduates will "be forced to be employed.", and data will be made up.
Only those that do real science will die, but there aren't any. So nothing really changes.

That's the Chinese solution.

What about makeing General Educations like a k13 (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176488)

Or at least letting people pick a major after doing all General Educations classes?

Makeing the k13 free like k12 and lower?

How many majors can be combined? spilt in minors (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176502)

There has be some majors that can turned in to minors or at least be made of a few minors or you can take 2 majors and trun them into 1 major made up of 2 minors.

China looking to make itself obsolete in a decade (4, Insightful)

Y.A.A.P. (1252040) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176512)

Looking at this quote in the article: "an overflow of workers whose skillsets don’t match with the needs of the export-led, manufacturing-based economy", it really doesn't look like China is thinking long-term.

With how quickly more human-like robotics is coming along in recent years, it looks more and more like over half of those "manufacturing-based economy" jobs could be replaced by a robot that works better for those roles for less money than a human could.

So, what does China do when all of those people are now without jobs. The same problem could be said to apply to all countries around the world as technology moves forward, but China is the one that is currently looking to concentrate people into this area that has has 'long-term obsolescence' stamped all over it. What do they do with all the people that they've trained to be unemployable, then? Soylent Green?

Difference (3, Interesting)

dcollins (135727) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176524)

Isn't there a fundamental difference in that China pays outright for the student to go to college, whereas the U.S. provides loans which the student repays with interest for years afterward? So in the U.S. there's anti-incentive to cut people off from going to college; it's yet another way to skim off the value of the working people's lifelong labor. China pays for the student, whereas the U.S. gets paid by the student.

Since when is college supposed to be about jobs? (4, Insightful)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176528)

I thought you went to college to get an education, not a job. You go to college to study subjects you enjoy and want to learn more about, as well as get some knowledge about more general subjects that are useful to any well-rounded person. The job should not be the ultimate goal of college, it should be a by-product of college. The pursuit of knowledge itself should create a job opportunity in the field you have chosen to study. If you simply want a job, you should not be going to college. You should be going to a vo-tech and learning a marketable trade skill, whether that be nursing, various mechanics (automotive, airplane, nautical, etc), haircutting, or basic IT maintenance/installation. You shouldn't be getting yourself into $75,000-100,000 worth of debt if all you want is a job. I know plenty of people that went the vo-tech route, because that's what they wanted to do. They realized they had no need to go to college. If you want to work on cars, you go to a vo-tech school and learn to be a mechanic. You don't go to a top engineering school and study mechanical engineering.

For the record, my undergraduate degree was in History. Did I expect to get a job out of it? No. I studied it because I enjoyed it, it came naturally to me and was very easy for me, and it was what I wanted to study. My Master's degree is in something a little more marketable and applicable (International Relations), but even now I approach it more as an application of history as opposed to the more descriptive efforts of some political scientists (and I do not consider it to be a real science). I enjoyed my undergraduate psychology classes, my lit classes, my Shakespeare and film class, and my German and Arabic classes. If I had had time, I would have taken science classes as well, but with my AP credits science classes were not necessary. I went to college for the classical reason you go to college. I enjoyed learning about subjects I knew little about, and I wanted to know how things (and people) work in the world, and how things got to where they are today.

Re:Since when is college supposed to be about jobs (2)

tjb (226873) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176698)

It must be nice to have a trust fund.

Re:Since when is college supposed to be about jobs (5, Insightful)

Nimey (114278) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176738)

Since HR departments everywhere started using "has a bachelor's degree" as a filter; you don't have the degree, you're unworthy of a job.

Why should majors be cancelled? (1)

Montezumaa (1674080) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176532)

So, just because certain majors have a higher rate of unemployment, the Chinese government is going "cancel" those majors? What happened to choice? Oh, yeah, this is China.

The majors that might end up being canceled might still be needed, but the number of students might just be too high. Still, no government should be a part of the decision process for prospective students. This idea will simply cause some of the students of these majors to either not attend college at all, or attend college outside of China. I fail to see how that helps China.

The biggest problem is that there are so many students, and so few jobs. As more and more people attend college, or return after a long hiatus, the number of available jobs starts to reduce. I am not sure of the situation in China, but I know that that is the case in and around Atlanta.

So many people now have college "educations", which does not account for a lot, anymore. Even some people who barely obtained their GEDs are now college graduates, even if their grades were not the greatest. As such, the job pool shrinks, and those that would be the best for any particular job are passed over, either because the idiot that got the job knew someone at the company, or because Human Resources/Personnel failed to look at GPAs.

Some majors might make no sense, or are useless, but the choice of taking that major should rest with the student and his or her adviser/parents(either or both).

Re:Why should majors be cancelled? (1)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176596)

Some majors might make no sense, or are useless, but the choice of taking that major should rest with the student and his or her adviser/parents(either or both).

      That's all well and good, until someone has to support them. I am all for letting them clean toilets for the next 40 years. But, no, they are currently infesting, er, "occupying", Wall Street, Oakland, etc. demanding that someone give them money and a living. I suspect that is what the Chinese are trying to avoid.

      Brett

make college more dropin based like steve jobs (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176534)

He did not like all the required class but he did drop in to other class and that helped him a lot more then the required classes.

Now can we rework the system around that idea so the drop ins don't go away and that people are not forced to waste time on use less required classes?

"What if the U.S. government were to do this?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38176546)

First they will have to complete their takeover of higher education (they will).

Stupid governments (0)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176568)

the point is that people shouldn't be subsidized for any purpose, including education (and banking for that matter or health), it all creates misallocation of resources.

Those college graduates should be paying out of pocket (and in many cases they are in China, just as people don't have SS or Medicare there, they are saving their own money for this), and if somebody takes a loans it should be a private loan that has nothing to do with government guarantees.

When government guarantees any loans or gives them out directly, all it does it creates a demand bubble in where-ever the money is going to. That demand bubble eventually bursts and there is then a recession in that economic sector. All of the government distortions are corrected by the markets somehow, and the corrections are reallocations of resources, which means some people must lose their jobs and investments.

Let the private market take care of this and at least then the bubbles are much smaller, because the private market cannot allocate resources as huge as governments can, and then the taxes don't have to go up and money don't have to be debased, the people who pay the prices are those, participating in whatever temporary local bubble that exists, and the rest of the economy only gets better when bubbles burst.

This is true for every government, not just China.

Hells Yeah! (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176600)

What if the U.S. government were to adopt China's approach?

You mean pay someone's tuition if their major is on a list? It is a little late but, I'll go back if it is free this time around.

Innovation (1)

wjcofkc (964165) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176602)

Stifle it? That's one way to prevent it!

Dump Student Loans in the US (3, Insightful)

The Analog Kid (565327) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176638)

The US government doesn't need to tell colleges what majors to have, a market based solution would be much more efficient. Getting rid of student loans would not only would help stop people from majoring in useless degrees but it would lower the cost of tuition as students would no longer be easy sources of cash for the colleges, it would also stop the job requirement inflation. There's a lot of jobs that get posted with bachelor's required or at the very least bachelor's preferred, that do not need a bachelor's degree. It would probably take a number of years for the market to correct that, but eventually there would less people with bachelor degrees and companies would have to lower their requirements.

The way it is these days, the government does not care what major you are going into, or how you'll even pay you're loans back. They don't care either, as it's nearly impossible to discharge student loans, they can garnish your wages, and "private" lender Sallie Mae also owns the collection agency. Unless you are going to never work in the US again, they will get their money back one way or another. No other loans in the US have the kind of protections for the creditor that student loans have. As a result there's no risk assessment done, where their would be if private loans with only the typical protections for loans were the only loans available. The lender would tell the wanna be poetry major to pick a more useful major, or get lost and pay for college themselves.

Ancient news for the 'tech world' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38176714)

Lest you computer programmers get too smug, consider this:
http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2010/06/19/smart-young-and-broke.html

That is from June 2010, so it hardly has any relevance. It's too bad for them. oh well, ship us more lead, tainted milk, maybe some mercury-laced iPhones, and you'll be ok.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?