25 07 11 - 20:55Lost generation II, look what you get to inherit!
Call it credential inflation. Once derided as the consolation prize for failing to finish a Ph.D. or just a way to kill time waiting out economic downturns, the masterâs is now the fastest-growing degree. The number awarded, about 657,000 in 2009, has more than doubled since the 1980s, and the rate of increase has quickened substantially in the last couple of years, says Debra W. Stewart, president of the Council of Graduate Schools. Nearly 2 in 25 people age 25 and over have a masterâs, about the same proportion that had a bachelorâs or higher in 1960.
âSeveral years ago it became very clear to us that masterâs education was moving very rapidly to become the entry degree in many professions,â Dr. Stewart says. The sheen has come, in part, because the degrees are newly specific and utilitarian. These are not your general masterâs in policy or administration. Even the M.B.A., observed one business school dean, âis kind of too broad in the current environment.â Now, you have the M.S. in supply chain management, and in managing mission-driven organizations. Thereâs an M.S. in skeletal and dental bioarchaeology, and an M.A. in learning and thinking. - NYT
You have a few things to thank for this -- all of which are low standards, which result in a college degree signifying nothing more than four years of "attendance":
- Grade inflation. Precious snowflake must be precious, says the parent who pays bills. Or we complain and wreck your career. OK, says the professor, I'll give everyone an A. This means no one really gets an A.
- Affirmative action. Jizzy Debop is transsexual, a member of a minority group, gay and from a war zone. This means heshe should be admitted to Harvard! Except Jizzy really isn't all that bright. But we want to look good to the politicians, so here's a degree in Transsexual Vegan Gay War Zone Studies. Next person who sees a Harvard degree with think it's worthless, too, even if it was in Physics.
- Specialization. Bill Doofus wants a degree, so he got one in web design. Well -- that's fucking worthless. Web design is something you learn on top of another degree or skill. But now he's spent four years learning this crap, and the college -- eager to take his money -- encouraged it at the expense of other departments.
- High school. High School degrees have been toilet paper for 30 years now. Once the 1968 reforms hit public schooling, they shifted from teaching the smart to trying to bribe, cajole, fake and fool the underperforming into being "equal." High school is so dumbed down that college now teaches what high school once did, leaving no time to teach collegiate-level stuff (you do that in grad school).
While you were busy complaining about the high cost of college, they raised the price -- and lowered the value.
Next time someone tells you that grade inflation, affirmation action and moron majors don't cause you problems, think twice!