Educated people have higher wages and lower unemployment rates than the less educated so why are college students at Occupy Wall Street protests around the country demanding forgiveness for crushing student debt? The sluggish economy is tough on everyone but the students are also learning a hard lesson, going to college is not enough. You also have to study the right subjects. And American students are not studying the fields with the greatest economic potential…
Tabarrok says that U.S. colleges are awarding about the same number of math, science and engineering degrees now as 25 years ago, but more visual and performing arts, psychology and communication and journalism degrees:
There is nothing wrong with the arts, psychology and journalism, but graduates in these fields have lower wages and are less likely to find work in their fields than graduates in science and math. Moreover, more than half of all humanities graduates end up in jobs that don’t require college degrees and these graduates don’t get a big college bonus.
His national analysis isn’t completely true for Ohio though:
- In 2010, Ohio public universities awarded about twice as many bachelor’s degrees in arts and humanities as in engineering. (That’s according to data from the Board of Regents.)
- But the number of students graduating with engineering degrees rose 40 percent over the past 10 years. The only faster growing field in terms of number of degrees awarded was health.
Ohio Bachelor’s Degrees Awarded (University Main and Regional Campuses)
|Subject Field||% Change 2001-2010||# of Degrees Awarded 2010|
|Social and Behavioral Sciences||35%||7,842|
|Arts and Humanities||27%||7,389|
|Natural Science and Mathematics||6%||3,630|