Fall semester starts up at work today, and for the first time in three months the campus will be teeming with people, largely wild-eyed freshmen not knowing which building is which. Summer is officially over as far as I'm concerned (suck it, Labor Day) and pretty soon it'll be pitch dark before 6pm. Once the calendar turns over to September, the rest of the year goes by super swiftly.
My own brother is also about to start his final year of undergrad. He is majoring in sociology, which on one hand more knowledge is always great, but on the other what the heck is he going to do for money armed with such a degree? What other paths are there for a sociologist other than remain in academia? Hindsight being what it is, I think my brother chose the wrong major; even he knows it's large useless.
Children of rich households can afford to study a silly subject for a diploma, but sons and daughters of the poor and lower middle-class haven't got the luxury of a parental safety chute. The purpose of college for people like us is to enhance our ability to attain a well paying job. A big reason why I chose to major in business was because I figure business skills are paramount and applicable to all industries. I would've loved to major in philosophy and have heated discussions about the differences of Platonic and Socratic thought, but like sociology that won't pay any of the bills unless I continued on further and become a researcher.
I wonder how many incoming freshmen are cognizant of the monetary utility of the major they selected. Most probably don't care because it's infinitely more fun to think about all the alcohol-fueled sex college is fertile ground for. But student loan debt is at record highs; don't high school counselors have a duty to direct kids to the proper channels so that the debt incurred would be worth the future income?
Some of these kids would be a better served not by a standard four-year institution, but rather an accredited trade school. Despite being maligned and stigmatized by society as low-rung, blue-collar jobs can pay equally well as the office desk. The growth potential can be the same, too: the auto mechanic, can after years of service, open his own shop and reap all the profits. One does not need to wear a white-collar to make six-figures.
I think it'll benefit the university system and society as a whole if some forethought and advice is given to kids beforehand, that college is not the only option to a good career. Because one can always become a Youtuber or Instagram influencer.