A liberal arts degree is usually a bad investment

I’m sure this post will make a few people angry, but it’d be a shame to have written all this only to not post it and miss out on making someone angry. So here you go:

I watch a lot of people graduate from expensive private colleges (and increasingly expensive public colleges) and then fail to find a job, or at least a job in their field of study. In many cases, they didn’t even need a degree for the job they end up getting. But what’s worse is that they often get jobs that pay a pittance compared with their student loans. These kids are going to be in debt for decades.

Take a look at the list of jobs that are expected to grow the most by 2016. The vast majority require some technical skills, even though some of these jobs don’t require college degrees at all. And that makes sense: how many English, History, Philosophy, Communication, and General Studies majors do we need? Yes, I’m aware that you can do a lot of things with a History degree from a good school. Guess what? You can do all those things with an engineering or business or science degree, plus a lot more. And best of all, you can expect to make enough to pay off your student loans before you’re 70.

I’m sorry, but it just makes no economic sense to spend $200,000 to get undergraduate and graduate degrees in a field that pays $19,000 a year, if you’re lucky enough to get one of the few jobs.