Students pick majors based on what they think will get them jobs. They’re usually wrong. A strong piece from @benmschmidt at @TheAtlantic – https://t.co/9LbqsmuZiU
— David M. Perry (@Lollardfish) August 23, 2018
From the article:
This may seem like a roundabout way to present the conventional wisdom that stem majors are the only safe bet in the modern economy, and the humanities are dying out because kids no longer have the luxury of a useless major. But there’s an extremely important caveat: Students aren’t fleeing degrees with poor job prospects. They’re fleeing humanities and related fields, specifically, because they think they have poor job prospects. If the whole story were a market response to student debt and the Great Recession, students would have read the 2011 census report numbering psychology and communications among the fields with the lowest median earnings and fled from them. Or they would have noticed that biology majors make less than the average college graduate, and favored the physical sciences. Most 18-year-olds are not econometricians, and those that are were probably going to major in economics anyway. The census has been asking about college majors for almost a decade now and aside from a few obvious points—engineers make more money than journalists—the results are most surprising for how trivial the differences between most majors turn out to be.