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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #25)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 05:24 PM

134. I disagree that technical and science degrees are limited

I repeatedly hear this myth, but it's nonsense. I'm also tired of hiring this stereotype of the engineer or scientist as this geek with poor social and communication skills. As an engineering major, I was required to take two technical communication courses, and at least one or more writing intensive English composition courses. I was also required to write reports in labs as well as my capstone project course.

Back in college, I remember my liberal arts courses (and there were plenty I took) as my breathers - especially when compared to the rigor of my engineering courses and labs. Yet I still saw people in those courses still struggle. Many of them had little if any critical thinking or analytical skills, exactly what employers claim to want - and what science and technical degrees heavily emphasize.

And from what I can see in this tough economy, those of us with engineering and other technical degrees or backgrounds have found jobs fairly quickly even when facing layoffs. From what I can tell, most of my friends that graduated with an engineering degree are gainfully employed making a comfortable middle class income ($60k+). Friends of mine with liberal arts degrees (and these are intelligent and articulate people I'm talking about) have struggled to find jobs for months on end. When they found jobs, they were often bored or frustrated with it or the compensation didn't nearly match their education level.

Now, if the government is going to hand out loans for any and every type of degree (and I agree they certainly should - I don't want anyone's dreams and education potential limited), the least the schools and government can do is to start honestly educating students in understanding the ramifications of taking on debt the size of a mortgage and job prospects based on their field of study. This has to be started much earlier - in HS itself (perhaps the sophomore or junior year). We also need competent HS career counselors that can do more than just feed X students to Y college or community college. We need them understanding the students' strengths and interests and suggesting alternative education paths like vocational and technical schools.

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LineLineLineReply I disagree that technical and science degrees are limited
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