It's not they are going to do this, the Ministry already started this rule in as early as 2004-12-10.
The problem it trying to solve is that, there are too many low-level buzz-word fancy term majors created in Chinese universities, like "nanotech", "earth science", or "life science".
These majors often only covers a superficial fraction of the subject, and allows quick rote learning only on some intro theory, then quickly issue a diploma. The hardcore part of knowledge is hard thus left to other traditional majors
Why do Chinese have diploma greed? Because diploma is a hyper-inflation profitable industry in China. Nearly every bullshit job requires a BS degree, they employer just want to make the company staff looks "better educated"
These "hot" majors are not really teaching any knowledge, but an easy way to grab a degree, so the students can gain their entry to various job titles. The college make lots of money by expanding cheap majors.
But the students learns too few to start a serious career, so in a competitive job markets these students have much higher failure rate than similar harder majors.
In fact, corrupted officials/businessman can order famous univ. to create a special, private major for themselves, their daughters and sons. They don't even have to spend full 4 year time school to get a very high degree.
In addition, "new & new" majors" name is very similar to other authentic ones (aka ShanZhai majors) but requires a lot less effort to accomplish.
So the Ministry started to ban major frauds, under the name of "low employment rate".
Are they going to cancel or stop funding traditional liberal arts majors? I don't think they are really that stupid. Are there humanities majors effected by this rule? Sure.
In that case, the comments in this thread are a perfect example of how little people understand about China and how everything is portrayed through the lens of flawed media. It's a shame that everything we hear about China here in the states is from second-hand sources that have more interest in telling a shocking black and white story than portraying the gray truth.
Certainly there are some Chinese policies which deserve serious criticism, which is why I get really suspicious when numerous articles mockingly talk about about other, less-relevant flaws in China's society such as imitation (fake Apple stores, imitation American jets and cars), developing advanced tech in a careless, half-assed way (high-speed train crashes), or carelessness about the environment (3 Gorges Dam) and then applying this mindless, careless progress as something unique to China.. or dare I say communism. The truth is if you looked at the advancement of any modern superpower you will see nothing but the same kinds of flaws. I'm not saying this kind of crude, unstoppable progress is a good thing.. but passing it as something that's just part of the Chinese mentality is probably a poor representation of the true values of the culture as a whole.
Brilliant. They figured out what we were doing in America and then turned around and did it better.
Actual facts aside, what is fascinating is how we arrive to this assumption. The article only mentions "unemployable graduates." Nowhere does it mention humanities or specific majors. It is then we, the readers, who apply our Western worldview and assume this means "humanities majors."
Thanks to the grandparent poster for the deeper insight.
Jobless, educated young people are copping a lot of flak from the media everywhere at the moment. They are a drain on the economy, "they are the 99%", they are having Arab springs where spring lasts all year, they are making molotovs in Greece. They are agents for changing society.
The underlying current of this idea in education is that we should all be happy little workers. Universities have been commercialised away from being the places that brought about the Enlightenment to places for turning out more advanced labourers. Universities are becoming (some have already become) an extension of the standard school system.
I found university to be a cacophony of ideas and viewpoints that until that point I had never really experienced. It introduced me to thoughts and ideas I may have never of experienced if I stayed in a small country town. Degree-mills rarely ever have this sort of environment and if all universities are reduced to churning out technical apprentices the world will be a worse place for it.
If someone wants to be a poet, or a historian, or anything else, more power to him. Why on everyone else's money, though?
To be honest, if your calling to become a poet is stopped by a government's funding decision, you wouldn't have made much of a poet anyway.
I see a lot of "bootstraps" comments in the tech field— specifically about the liberal arts— and it's a shame. I wouldn't be in this field if it weren't for some of those "worthless" degrees like English (great writing helps the learning process) and Design (people are attracted to good-looking websites).
My apologies if I got a little ranty. It just irks me to see someone putting down another field of study as though they're a drain on society.
Poets and writers today, and throughout time, live unique, often impoverished existences without necessarily being part of an academic establishment or having relevant education. Or they make tons of money selling dramatic scripts to the masses. If Shakespeare were alive today he'd be a screenwriter.
From the article:The government will soon start evaluating college majors by their employment rates, downsizing or cutting those studies in which less than 60% of graduates fail for two consecutive years to find work.
Setting aside the question of whether that is a particularly good method, I'd like to suggest that it's at least more objective and quantifiable than just presuming that a degree in any given subject is equally the cause of or prerequisite to greatness in a given field, and therefore of equal value. Great art doesn't depend on art degrees to the same extent that great science depends on science degrees.
What you risk doing is grossly over subscribing 'boom' fields and driving down salaries of competent people within those fields.
If someone wants to become a Flash-game developer or make webapps, more power to him. Why on everyone else's money, though?
First is that no education should take place on someone else's dime. Let the market sort it out. So don't subsidize literature or mathematics, film studies or nuclear engineering. Step back and let the market work it out.
The second is that the government should subsidize education, on the notion that some fields, such as science and engineering, generate positive externalities that can't be recouped by the practitioners of these fields. As you can probably tell, I think there's a lot of merit to this argument, especially in core science. I think that a scientist or engineer who earns 100K a year often generates far more wealth than, say, a mortgage broker who earns 100K a year. It does make sense to me that the government would try to find ways to encourage this.
If you feel this way, you probably don't mind educational subsidies and tax breaks for certain types of activities (by the way, I read somewhere that China has excepted software engineers from certain types of income taxes).
While I probably sound enthusiastic about this kind of arrangement, the truth is I'm ambivalent about it, largely because I have serious doubts that this kind of government interference will work. Instead, it often leads to a system that is easily gamed (engineering majors take the subsidy and then go work on wall street, and get a tax break because they write software for trading algorithms).
So in the end, I tend to favor a more hands-off, market based approach - though with some state subsidies for certain educational paths and research activity.
Lightweight yet effective and highly competent government... I do think it's possible, and the societies that figure it out will run circles around everyone else.
Not when it costs six figures and puts people neck-deep in debt.
I want to live in your utopian world, where people get educations just because. We would all be better off.
But the truth of the matter is, for a lot of people there are two choices after high school:
A - Pay $[bignum] for education that has high employability and will give them the knowledge and qualifications necessary to find work, which is absolutely necessary if they ever hope to repay said debt.
B - Pay $[bignum] for education that has low employability and will not give them any of the qualifications sought for in in-demand jobs. They will still owe $[bignum] which will compromise all other aspects of their lives.
I see your line of argument a lot whenever this topic comes up. My challenge to you is: besides a lot of feel-good platitudes, how will your system work? How will people feed themselves, clothe themselves, and put a roof over their head - their head full of wonderful perspectives and understanding but no job?
The "we can all get comprehensive" education idea died when education became expensive. It died when globalization squeezed the American middle class to become more desperate and ever more critically reliant on continued employment. Far from being the norm, the age of comprehensive college education was a brief blip in thousands of years of human civilization lasting no more than a few decades. The gravy train has come to a full and complete stop, and it's time for industrialized nations to clue into something: life is tough. You scramble to survive. High-minded ideology comes second to the survival of yourself and your loved ones.
If, in this topsy-turvy struggle you can find time to fit in a comprehensive education. Good for you - you won. The rest of the world isn't so lucky.
In your 'real' world where everyone must frantically scamble to survive, civilization never leaves the caves.
We have massive surpluses across the world, 98%R of the wealth is owned by a tiny fraction of the people, food is piled up and wasted to protect markets, and yet there are still idiots claiming that we just cannot afford to educate everyone.
We cannot afford not to, if we want to survive into the 22nd century and beyond.
Its not a gravy train, our surpluses drove our technological advantages, which in turn drove our surpluses.
But what should and shouldn't be is of cold comfort to someone leaving high school right now, who is forced to make this choice in a world where education is expensive. I'm sick and tired of people shaming everyone for getting a "useful" education.
I'm all for education reform - note in my original post I mentioned that comprehensive education died when it got too expensive. But can we, for once, stop booing and shaming people who choose rationally within the existing system? Can we also stop giving people excuses for choosing poorly within this system?
We have a society where it costs six figures to get a degree. This is a damn shame and should be fixed. But knowing this people still get degrees they can't afford, and then tell a sob story to the press about how their $100K+ degree can't find them a job. Well, shit.
The solution to this problem is to make education cheaper, not to shelter and coddle people who are incapable of making a rational decision.
 To address your point:
> "Education plus time to think drives innovation."
I agree, but I do think that we are inevitably returning to a state where education plus time to think are going to become rare luxuries. Our innovation will suffer as a result - has already suffered as a result.
But I don't think there's anything we can do to stop this. The US gained an incredible industrial lead over the rest of the world early on, which allowed to elevate its quality of life well beyond anything the world had seen, which in turn drove the wheels of innovation and invention.
But decades of mismanagement, rampant robber-baron capitalism, and simple globalization has meant that the US middle class is gutted. It's getting more and more desperate out there - more and more people working multiple jobs, more and more people making large cutbacks to their quality of life to make ends meet. This is a vicious cycle, to be certain, but I can't see how to stop it.
You're welcome, we call it Sweden.
Higher education is free (before this year it was even free for non-swedes), and you get a stipend to pay for food/rent as long as you keep passing courses.
I know someone who's about to get a physics degree and is going to go into bartending afterwards since it seems more fun. I also know people who get education after education (stuff like psychology, history) while they figure out what they want to do.
>Higher education is free...and you get a stipend to pay for food/rent as long as you keep passing courses.
This actually created a huge problem in Berlin when I was living there. Being in the university system was such a good deal that nobody wanted to leave. Students would change majors every few years to avoid graduating for as long as possible, sitting through courses they didn't really care about because it was easier than graduating and working for a living. Classes became terribly over-crowded: when walking around the campus area, you could tell the students apart from people who just happened to be passing through, because the students all carried folding chairs with them because none of the classrooms had enough seats. To compensate, they had to dramatically reduce the quotas for incoming students, so the students who were loitering in the university system were effectively blocking younger students from ever having the opportunity to get a degree.
I don't know if/how they ever fixed this problem, but I'm sure it's very hard to fix short of putting a hard limit (e.g. 4 or 5 years) on receiving the stipend.
Yeah, there's room for everyone. Class sizes are limited so acceptance into programs is merit-based (high school grades or a special test), but worst case you just have to settle for a less prestigious school.
There is actually a time limit to the stipend (IIRC 300 weeks of study) to avoid abuse, but it's also dependent on you actually passing courses.
I only picked that specific one since it was the first google result for my search terms.
If a school doesn't offer an entire history program, the chances of meeting someone really interested and specialised in history go down dramatically. A program isn't cut in isolation, courses are dropped, academics are fired, research programs are ended and opportunities are lost. Some universities have cut back to only offering first year courses in humanities (which you could probably learn everything from such courses with wikipedia, Khan Academy and an understocked library). You are unlikely to find people with more than a passing interest in a field if it isn't available for research at a university. Cut enough programs (or only offer a few to start with) and the school is a degree mill.
Highly specialised universities are often dead ends socially. They aren't fun places to visit, people are only there for that piece of paper that gets them a job. I've worked in a technical campus that was completely silent at night. The students would go across town to another university because "the music was better" or "it's more fun there". If there are no bands forming in an Engineering department there is something seriously wrong with the creative environment of the school or with the people who attend it. If you really want to find out why this is such a terrible idea go somewhere that has already done it.
Translation: "Women don't go to technical schools, lets go where the women are."
This problem could also be solved by pairing technical educations - an engineering/nursing school would not suffer this problem.
Chinese university has a different definition. It's like vocational schools rather than college. Chinese vocational schools are like dirty work training camp.
(Full disclosure: I am a high school dropout, so I'm not qualified to do anything.)
It would a different set of priorities for a single child whose parents toiled in government factories (or even to till land - often migrating across countries to work just because they were 'transferred'). The culture of aspiring to be an artist or a 'non-professional' (defined locally as not one who brings a pay check every month; not the freelancer kind) has yet to be cultivated. (The irony is - pre communism era was the opposite; it was artists all around)
Wow, as a computer scientist, most of the comments in these kinds of discussions leave me disheartened and embarrassed with the arrogance ("useless", etc.) of my fellow technical folks. A discussion about where to allocate graduates makes sense, but the kind of unjustifiably arrogant invective here doesn't.
I think people might want to look at whether their house is made of glass a bit more as well, before denigrating "useless" historians and throwing around phrases like "contributes to the country's advancement". Is the webapp you're working on really a great contribution to society? Is Zynga producing value that will move our civilization forward?
I am very much a free market type person, I think anyone should be able to get any degree they want. And I think that people should understand that just any degree doesn't mean they will be employable after they graduate. But we do need folks who are passionate about lots of different things, and take those passions rigorously to the highest level.
The Chinese may find that someone who would excel in Art History and who would have, had they been allowed to, enabled others to develop deeper insights into their culture by looking at the art that their culture has created, may be really crappy business majors, or science majors. And making it harder for businesses to discern between people who wanted to be in business and those who were 'forced' into it, also harder which will make those businesses less efficient at employing folks.
I hope at that point everyone will look back and go "Gee that was a stupid idea." and we won't have to debate hypothetical 'what if' type arguments.
Sadly, I suspect this is just a pipe dream. Here in the UK we have the same problem the Chinese are facing - people doing bullshit degrees because they need the letters after their names. The Govt. here are even encouraging it.
As some of the other commentators are pointing out this is an already-effective scheme in China which has been used to cut some of those useless degrees.
It was my impression that Chinese students followed their parents ambitions. So I am not so sure that this effect will be all that noticeable. If I'm wrong here feel free to eviscerate me.
As a side note: I upvoted you for bullet biting.
Seriously HN, do you want to share knowledge and discuss things, or filter out people with differing views?
Edit: added link for clarity.
Instead, let's make liberal arts degrees cheaper. There's no reason why a Philosophy or English degree needs to cost 15k+ a year. It's been said before, and it needs said again: a liberal arts education is just as valuable today as it was 300 years ago. The current problem is one of cost, not of value.
Liberal arts should exist, just at a much smaller (frankly, more reasonable wrt actual demand) scale.
If the objective is to create well-rounded, cross-disciplinary citizens, then no, that is a horrible idea.
Regardless, I think it's a false dichotomy. Why does one have to be expensive while the other is cheap? And why can't someone get both a liberal arts education and a "practical" education? I see no reason why a student can't pay 5k for a 2-3 year liberal arts degree, and then go on to (competitively-priced) a 2-3 year engineering degree.
Why is it that everyone thinks a STEM education means you are automatically not well-rounded or cross-disciplinary? There are universities with STEM programs that mitigate this problem successfully by creating the right requirements for the degree.
As an example, the requirements for breadth were FAR more stringent at my university for technical fields than for the humanities/social sciences. The 'science' breadth requirement for a humanities major could be satisfied by first-semester courses like the introductory Nutritional Science course, but the breadth requirements for technical majors required that students end up taking at least a couple 3rd/4th year courses in liberal arts fields (which in turn had lower-level prerequisites, naturally). This resulted in the inverse problem from my POV, whereby the majors generally assumed to create well-rounded students actually failed to do so.
Furthermore, being well-rounded is a lot more than what you study in college IMO. A well-rounded citizen has to continually invest in 'upkeep' that earns them that label. The most well-rounded folks I know read throughout their life (often across a broad set of topics), continually invest in their education on their own time through this reading, keep up on current-events, and so forth. I don't see a lack of liberal arts education precluding these activities or any other activities that might contribute to being well-rounded.
> And why can't someone get both a liberal arts education and a "practical" education?
I generally agree that this would be ideal, but it is also constrained by how much money we have as a society. Remember - you and I are contributing our own funds indirectly to subsidize this same education, and it is certainly not cheap these days (see other comments on cost of education). The trick of course is to strike the right balance and realize a good return on that educational investment. Personally, I can see value in something like a Minor in a field that is completely different than one's Major, but I don't see the benefit being much greater if one were to get two full degrees.
I generally agree that this would be ideal, but it is also constrained by how much money we have as a society.
So, a) we'll require everyone take liberal arts, to solve the problem of b) it's too expensive for everyone to take liberal arts?
The main issue I've heard people cite with majoring in the liberal arts is that liberal arts majors don't make enough money to cover costs. Raising the costs of being a liberal arts major seems like a pretty roundabout way of solving that problem.
How about some evidence that liberal arts graduates have anything to do with "well-rounded, cross-disciplinary citizens"?
As someone noted above, STEM folk are far more cross-disciplinary than liberal arts grads.
Subset A roughly corresponds to the current population's mix of educational backgrounds, and
Subset B is the transformation of A where all liberal arts majors have been replaced with STEM graduates,
I think it's obvious that subset A would be more "cross-disciplinary" and "well-rounded" taken as a group. It's not that individual liberal arts majors are more well rounded, it's that having a well-rounded collective of citizens is important.
I don't think that that's the intent of the claim, but I'll play along.
> It's not that individual liberal arts majors are more well rounded, it's that having a well-rounded collective of citizens is important.
But, how much do liberal arts majors contribute to said "well-rounded collective" and at what cost?
For example, it might be more cost-effective to add a bit more "rounded" to STEM majors.
And, that's ignoring the benefit of having this "rounded" within individuals instead of across groups.
> But, how much do liberal arts majors contribute to said "well-rounded collective" and at what cost?
Are you asking how they contribute to well-roundedness, or are you asking to value their individual contributions to society while ignoring contributions to well-roundedness as a valuable asset? How they contribute to well-roundedness is handled with the whole Subset A vs Subset B thing, I think. In regards to value -- I'm pretty sure that Hunter Thompson guy was good to have around. I dunno.
As to the cost: I guess that depends on whether you view liberal arts majors as a detriment to society, or at least intrinsically inferior to STEM majors. If they're equal then they're no additional cost, because their education costs exactly the same dollar amount.
> And, that's ignoring the benefit of having this "rounded" within individuals instead of across groups.
Certainly well-rounded individuals are important. But unless everyone is forced to be dual-degree, there will inevitably end up being biases towards the main major -- and I say this as a well-rounded STEM grad.
And doesn't requiring the well-roundedness to be at the individual level ignore the benefit of having some number of single-focus specialists within a society? It's not like Salman Rushdie spends his spare time proving P=NP, or Dijkstra's out writing papers on critical race theory.
> Are you asking how they contribute to well-roundedness
> How they contribute to well-roundedness is handled with the whole Subset A vs Subset B thing
Not clear. You're claiming that an LA degree has some "roundedness" value. That's not obvious. And, even if it's true, that doesn't imply that we need a lot of LA degrees to get whatever benefit there is. For example, how much worse off would we be with half as many English majors?
> I'm pretty sure that Hunter Thompson guy was good to have around.
I'd agree, but would ask whether his existence depended on the existence of a large number of LA majors. I'd point out that similar folks existed before we had a lot of LA majors and we don't have more Hunter Thompsons now.
> If they're equal then they're no additional cost, because their education costs exactly the same dollar amount.
Huh? It doesn't matter whether LA majors cost more or less than STEM majors. The question is the relationship between the cost of LA majors and the benefits of LA majors. (There's a similar question about STEM majors.)
It's interesting that we had a thread a while back about how China was better because its political leadership had engineering degrees....
I think I understand our point of disagreement.
I don't mean to claim LA majors have a "roundedness" value. I'm claiming that the collective average of STEM and LA leads to a rounded group, assuming "roundedness" in this case is considered to mean equally proficient in the diverse areas of knowledge.
As a metaphor, assume we have a bag full of red, purple, and blue marbles, where the purple is equivalent to roundedness (having equal amounts of red and blue). Replacing all of the red marbles with perfectly-purple ones actually decreases the purpleness of the bag -- it shifts the average color towards blue. Even if we give the blue ones with "a bit more 'rounded'" purple, to echo your call, the average remains shifted more towards blue than it was when there was red to balance it out.
LA majors don't have a roundedness value -- pure-LA is as unrounded as pure-STEM. I'm generally working under the assumption that "roundedness" means that you're knowledgeable in many areas, instead of only knowledgeable in a single one. Replacing a specific set of specialists with jacks-of-all-trades leaves the group with less average knowledge in the direction of the replaced specialists' knowledge base.
You could be arguing to make everyone completely and equally rounded/purple -- replacing both the blues and the reds, so that everyone would graduate with both a full LA degree and a full STEM degree. But your call for adding "a bit more 'rounded' to STEM majors" instead of having LA majors didn't sound like that, and making everyone be dual-degree seems a bit infeasible.
It may conceivably devalue the degree itself by making it less uncommon, but skills likely lose value at a much lower rate. There are also network effects - the pace of modern science and engineering goes almost entirely on the fact that we have a great many people working at once and sharing results.
There's also nothing to stop you from studying engineering then getting a job which uses a completely different skill set. A liberal arts degree is not a career training program in most cases. Opportunity cost is one big reason why this is less acceptable than it could be. However, it may be that different program models make different revenue models more viable, driving down the opportunity cost.
Of course, none of this addresses the quality problem. It's one thing to say "throw more engineers" but it's another entirely to create more good engineers.
That is just the summary, there is a more complete report available too. The high points for me was that employee
compensation accounts for 60-70% of costs, with increases there being driven by benefits (I assume this means health insurance costs rising), and that only 30-40% of that 60-70 is spent on instructional staff.
It is entirely possible for a school to give an excellent education for an order of magnitude less than the large schools do, and this is evidence to me that most schools are horrendously inefficient.
But I do agree with you about making liberal arts degrees cheaper. No one should get themselves into debt studying anthropology, for example.
As for going into debt. If you choose to take out student loans in order to study anthropology and find yourself in debt as a result, that was your own mistake, and you are ultimately responsible for it. Let's stop saying that it's "unfair" to not protect people from their own mistakes. Lowering the cost of liberal arts degrees will only lead to a greater surplus than what we have today.
Liberal arts educations are expensive for the same reason lobster is expensive. They're a luxury item, nobody needs one. If you can afford to be a philosopher, you can afford a philosophy degree.
Now there arises the problem of inadequate funding for the liberal arts majors. But as it is way too many people major in liberal arts and other impractical subjects. Lib arts should be a highly selective group, limited to scholarship recipients and any rich kid whose family has the money.
Treating all majors the same really hurts kids who come from working class backgrounds and might not know how society really works. Rarely will you be rewarded for learning for learning's sake. Major in engineering, accounting, nursing, etc. Then your future is pretty solid. Let's stop kidding ourselves about how our society values education.
On another note, it's pretty distressing to see all these calls to drastically overhaul the university system when we're not even five years away from what was essentially an economic singularity (no pun intended).
At every university I've attended, STEM grants are used to subsidize university operations.
(btw, it's an honor to cross swords. You're one of the people I most frequently CTRL-F on any threads even vaguely related to economics or finance)
The university basically provides two services in return for overhead: commercial real estate and outsourced HR. They vastly overcharge for both, and the excess beyond market rates for these services goes directly into the university budget.
Some real numbers (I was the grad student): a professor gets a $50k grant which he spends on a graduate student to be a research fellow for 1 year. The grad student gets $20k + benefits (roughly another $10k).
The university pockets the remaining $20k for incidentals and overhead. You seriously think loading the grad student into the HR system and making 24 direct deposits costs $20k?
Umm, no, that doesn't prove your point because neither one pays their way during college (including loans). At best, that proves that LA majors are less subsidized than STEM majors.
If we look at where that money comes from, I doubt that we'll find that LA graduates are paying what it cost to educate them. I suspect that we'll find that STEM folk are.
In Japan, some companies (especially in banking) hire people to work as generalists. They tend to rotate through a variety of roles as their career progresses. I don't think it is the most efficient allocation of resources, but it does make for employees who have a wider view of the business, and more importantly a network and contacts across a variety of fields.
Like most people commenting here, I have a very specialized technical education (Comp Sci major), but I actually wonder if my education could have been a little broader. I learnt most of what I know at work anyway!!
Students who go to college and get a liberal-arts education often don't retain their major-specific knowledge once they move into the job market and into a role that has nothing to do with what they studied. What they are supposed to retain though, is learning- and critical-thinking skills that make them better at various jobs than someone who did not go to college at all. And that same learning- and critical-thinking ability is something technical majors also develop quite well - hence I don't see a liberal arts education as having a monopoly on developing 'generalists' or really providing any advantage in that regard.
Naturally this is also a problem of efficient allocation. I think there is value in the knowledge produced by every field - however we require different levels of supply for different skills/knowledge - and I would further argue that this variation in demand for skills has always existed throughout human history. Since society is both funding education and creating this demand, it makes sense to me that we meet that demand partly by creating the correct supply of variously-educated citizens.
We do this somewhat (though not in the same way) in Australia. Degrees in fields of high demand are subsidized; in short, if you take a government loan (aka HECS/HELP debt), you owe less at the end of it. It's a good way to promote studying fields that deliver, but it doesn't prevent those with the desire to study arts degrees from doing so.
Hobbies always are to the betterment of the person engaging in them. Hobbies can, and often do, lead to high paying jobs and careers. Hobbies lead you to meet all kinds of interesting people who will shape your future. Hobbies are, if nothing else, enjoyable.
We just need to not lose sight of the fact that you should never bank your future on a hobby. Starting a band has made a lot of people incredibly wealthy, but that doesn't mean your band will find success. Do it because you love it, not because you want to be rich. There is nothing you can do to prepare yourself to be successful, else everyone would be.
Undoubtedly, I can see why China's doing it. It's utilitarian. College is already (wrongly) seen as "job training," and this will deepen that. But the number of jobs filled is one of many measures of "useful," and this threatens to make it the only one. Nobody can predict what will come of that. Telling people that they can only pursue a certain set of majors because they're useful, and if they don't like any of them, then too bad, seems a little nearsighted.
1. Years since graduation
4. Employed/Unemployed in related field
At least this way, there could be some basis in informed decision making by potential students.
There's a website listing more detailed data on UK grads.
Chinese have questioned whether someone like Apple founder Steve Jobs could ever emerge from an education system that seeks to push down students who stand out from the crowd.
Do they not realize Jobs was a dropout??
"Many university professors in China are unhappy with the Ministry of Education’s move"
The author goes on to make a weak argument about demand in distant future, but we all know which professors are upset, those that teach subjects which do not generate jobs for their students. (Most likely they are there teaching because they themselves couldn't get jobs in their field)
*I realize that this is a harsh view, but it is worth mentioning even though it is a little extreme.
Woz also lacked any sort of degree when he worked for HP and Apple. He only went back for his BSEE after he'd already made his mark.
If you really, really want to do a 3 year philosophy degree, I think should at least have to do a year as an apprentice philosopher.
Shoving this sort of stuff in high schoolers faces is exactly what kills the drive to learn. How many times do you remember that classmate in the back of the room saying something along the lines of, "Why am I learning this, I'll never use this in real life?" Did you ever think that maybe they were right?
I don't know about you, but I'd rather see a country full of people struggling to do something they are passionate about than a country full of people successfully doing something that makes them miserable.
Colleges are like companies that are trying to do two very different things at once: broad education and job training.
In the world of startups we know what to do when that happens: Choose one direction and go with it, stop trying to be all things to all people. Blended business models rarely work.
My guess is that something similar will eventually happen in education. Some institutions will specialize in getting you a paycheck and others will specialize in broader education.
I view purely academic coursework in the same category as other luxury goods: it's something some people find fun and exciting and if they want to pay for it, so be it, but society should not foot the bill.
Whereas practical "get a job" coursework I view as something that just about everybody needs and maybe there's a good argument for public subsidies or other policies that encourage it.