Monday, February 22, 2010

Are humanities and science careers different?

Mark pointed me to an article by Thomas H. Benton about graduate school in the humanities. These issues have been persistent concerns in the field; I recall arguing about the job prospects of humanity graduates as an undergraduate philosophy major. I think that there really is an argument that the costs (in tuition, living expenses and so forth) that are required for an advanced degree in the humanities can't possibly be compensated for by post-degree job prospects.

Which is okay, if the goal of the degree is edification. But these degrees are not often marketed as expensive luxury goods . . .

In science, I think we are better off. We train people with marketable skills that can lead to careers. Post-degree placement is considered an important metric of success. But I think tales like this are a call to action to make sure that we continue to provide relevant training and to be cautious about blurring the distinction between data and anecdote in terms of outcomes.

If nothing else, it seems to be a good case for outcomes tracking . . .

No comments:

Post a Comment