25
Oct
11

Higher ed bubble-burst watch

First, from Arnold Kling, we find a hilarious article by a student at Yale, spiraling into wide-eyed horror at the idea that, well…

If this year is anything like the last 10, around 25 percent of employed Yale graduates will enter the consulting or finance industry. This is a big deal. This is a huge deal. This is so many people! This is one-fourth of our people!

Kling rolls his eyes so hard I sprained something:

But the main point I would like to make about the article (it’s long and quite interesting) is that it is hard to find anything that a Yale degree does prepare a student for. I doubt that students know anything more than when they came in about running a no-profit or a restaurant, or about management consulting for that matter. I imagine that many students are now better prepared to take more classes, say, in law school or graduate school. And perhaps that is where most of them are actually going.

The author is concerned about students wasting a few years of their lives doing management consulting. If wasting years is the issue, then I wonder if her concern should instead be with the years spent at Yale.

(Emphasis added.)

I’ll say it, before Bryan Caplan does: A Yale degree prepares its owner for job interviews with people who’re impressed by Yale degrees.  Hanson’s Law, motherfuckers!

But aren’t the worries of a higher-ed bubble predicated on the idea that a lot of people are earning extraordinarily expensive degrees and finding them useless for getting well-paid jobs?  Surely this article out of Yale indicates that at least Yalies are doing well for themselves with their expensive degrees?

Derek Bok frowns upon your accountability standards for post-secondary institutions:

[T]he measures used are generally too crude to be helpful.  Some of them track outcomes that are largely beyond the college’s control, such as how many graduates remain in the state or how many are employed (and at what average salary) a year after graduation.

(Emphasis applied by Bryan Caplan.  Well, I supplied the <strong> tags.)

Yeah, I can’t see how post-graduation employment figures would be at all relevant.

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