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EDITORIAL/Worthless Degrees? Graduates in fields like gender studies are not the problem

September 11, 2022 at 10:00 p.m.

Some of the more vocal opponents of President Joe Biden's plan to forgive some student loan debt have argued that hard-working Americans should not subsidize those who waste money on what they term "worthless" degrees.

The most common targets are things like women's studies, ethnic studies and minority group studies.

To hear the critics, our country is awash in graduates of those fields, their expensive degrees good for nothing more than wrapping fish.

The truth is quite a bit different.

According to the U.S. government National Center for Education Statistics, about 2,038,000 bachelor's degrees were awarded by U.S. Colleges and universities in 2020.

The most common field of study was business administration and management with 387,000 degrees.

Nursing and other health care graduates took home 257,000 degrees.

Graduates in aocial sciences such as economics, political science, pre-law, sociology and history accounted for 161,000 degrees. Engineering came in at 128,000, biology and biomedical sciences at 126,000 and psychology at 120,000

Computer and information science grads came in at 97,000, visual and performing arts at 92,000 and communications and journalism at 91,000.

The list goes on until you get pretty far down.

In 2019-2020, about 16,000 bachelor's degrees were awarded to those majoring in some form of ethnic, gender, minority or cultural studies. That's fewer than 0.8% of all bachelor's degrees.

Furthermore, The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says there are about 292,000 jobs that employ graduates holding such degrees in areas like college and university administration, human resources, employment recruiting, teaching and law.

So supposedly "worthless" degrees are not the problem.

Reasonable people can disagree on what kind or even whether there should be any student loan relief. That's fine. But argue facts, not fiction.

Print Headline: EDITORIAL/Worthless Degrees? Graduates in fields like gender studies are not the problem


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