Friday, October 14, 2011

Public dollars ought to go toward degrees that make you employable

So says Florida Governor Rick Scott. Why run up huge student loan debts to get degrees in anthropology, art history, comparative literature, philosophy, or political science? I agree. If you run up a student loan tab in the five figure range and all you have to show for it is a degree in Women's Studies or Comparative Religion (albeit with a fancy diploma from a good school) but that will hang like a millstone around your neck forever, what good did it really do for you or the rest of society?

One memory I have from my misspent youth was reading Ayn Rand bitching, as reported by one of her biographers,  about the way that the newly installed Soviet regime cut funding massively for the liberal arts departments at their universities after the revolution was secure in order to beef up the fields of engineering, the sciences, and the practical arts while she was a student majoring in history and philosophy. That was one of the few good moves they made in my humble opinion.

What alternative do you have if you don't want to study accounting, nursing, medicine, mathematics, geology, or some practical subject if you can't get financial aid to study that stuff? Paying for your education yourself seem like a decent option to me but in any case asking the taxpayers to fund your study of Egyptology, renaissance poetry or mass communications should be off the table.