As companies strive to cut costs and increase efficiency, jobs that seemed to be safe are now at risk (“The Pandemic Has Accelerated Demands for a More Skilled Work Force,” The New York Times, July 14). Nevertheless, young people are still told that without a four-year degree they have a bleak future.
I can understand the potential value of a bachelor’s degree in STEM, but I question one in the humanities. I maintain that the latter is a luxury few can afford. Let’s not forget that a degree today saddles graduates with loans that are not dischargeable. As a result, whatever wage premium is attached to a degree is substantially reduced.
Some say that college shouldn’t prepare grads for their first job, but instead for the rest of their lives. They are quick to point out that humanities majors trail their peers in terms of salary early on, but the divide tends to narrow or even disappear as careers progress. There is some truth to that generalization. But try telling it to recent grads who can’t make enough to pay the rent.
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