Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Cue the predictable response

...frankly if you want to take gender studies that’s fine, go to a private school and take it, but I don’t want to subsidize that if that’s not going to get someone a job. Right now, I’m looking for engineers. I’m looking for technicians. I’m looking for mechanics.”
So complained North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory yesterday.

The governor has uncovered the ivory tower's dirty secret.

While the Republican legislature has bravely tried to grow the NC economy by firing teachers, police, and civil servants by the tens of thousands, the "educational elite" have undermined their heroic efforts and sunk the economy by graduating a flood of unemployable gender studies majors, Swahili speakers and navel-gazing philosophers. 

Except, of course, that they haven't. The overwhelming majority of UNC system graduates complete career-oriented majors.

Source: Statistical Abstract of Higher Education in North Carolina 2011-12 (August 2012).

Also, nevermind that graduates with other majors are successful in the labor market. In 2009 (the middle of the Great Recession), recent graduates in general studies and the humanities were more likely to be employed (82% and 80% respectively) than recent graduates with science majors (73%).

Perhaps if the new governor had some critical thinking skills of his own, he could have discovered the actual degree production patterns of his state's public university system and the employment patterns of its majors.