Degree Supply and Demand and The Changing Campus Culture

Commoditized Degrees

All these years of more and more college students 1960-1990s had a weird effect on demand.  HR people started getting more and more resumes with a college degree.  As time went on, a degree was added as a formal or informal requirement.  HR people cannot be blamed here since their attitude was “if I can get a person with a Bachelors for the same price, why wouldn’t I?”  More ads with “BS Required” meant more students deciding they needed a BS to get a “real” job.  The jobs themselves did not change.  Graduates with a business degree became crestfallen when told by recruiters that their BS in Business would get them an Assistant Manager job at a fast food restaurant or non-anchor mall store.  I got very lucky in getting a nice management training gig, even with that my first months on the job were doing very low skill work.

Still, a business degree at least gives you courses that will help you get an entry level job in the real world.  Too many young adults take useless degrees based on promises of “all you can do with it!”  Liberal Arts, various weak sciences, and anything with the word “studies” in it.  (e,g,: Minority Studies, Women’s/Gender Studies, etc.)  Because they had relatively easy coursework, students poured in.  During it all, the dirty little secret was only just over 50% of people entering their first classroom walked down the aisle to get a degree.  The rest fell into that “some college” demographic.  They eventually found some kind of employment and paid down their student loans.

Changing Campus Culture

Meanwhile, the term “PC” changed from meaning “Personal Computer” to “Politically Correct.”  It started small, but grew.  At first just banning a few “offensive” words.  Men were not to be trusted, white men were really not to be trusted, and Western Culture in general was said to be a force of evil in the history of the world.  The idea of “date rape” grew into a “rape culture” on campus.  Consensual sex could be considered “rape” up to days later.  The man was guilty until proven innocent.  Men have been noticing, and are getting the hell out.  Women now outnumber men at virtually all levels of post-secondary education, by nearly 3:2.

While this is all bad enough, most colleges are bastions of far-left political views.  If you do not conform, your grades are likely to suffer.  You will have to suffer, though.  If the professor decides to make the class you are paying thousands for into a political rant, sorry Charlie.  Little you can do.  Colleges dump on their customers, students, like no other business can do.  You are over a barrel.  A tenured professor is just a little less untouchable as a made man in the mafia.  To some, you are a hassle they must put up with while they do their research.  Others teach auditorium classes and do not even know your face.  I had one refused to give me a make-up exam during his office hours!  I got my way there, many students would cave.

What About the Increased Earnings?

College grads make blah blah more in a lifetime!  A million dollars more said Hillary Clinton.  Is this for real?  First, yes, you should make more if you get a college degree than if you just graduate high school and have no trade training.  You will qualify for more just entry level jobs.  You will probably learn *something* that will let you advance faster.  The real answer is more complicated, and is about more than just how much more you earn,  It is about ROI.

Most of those “make a million more” are those that end up as anything from doctors to professional ballplayers, skewing the average.