Saturday, March 25, 2006

Big Man on Campus: and we mean one man only

Anne Althouse has a really good debate going on in two posts about the NY Times editorial piece (registration required)on the affirmative action going on to help males get into college.

In a post in her comments I wrote:

I wonder how much of this all is the trend towards liberal arts colleges. It seems that a liberal arts education has become the 21st century equivalent of the high school degree. Many males used to drop out of high school because they didn't see it as necessary to be a factory worker or mechanic or house painter or whatever profession they aimed at. Is that why there are less men trying hard to get into college (by doing well in high school), because they just don't see it as necessary step to do what they want to do?
To expand on this rant:

I wonder how useful is the current liberal arts education nowadays?

You can make more money if you choose to become a plumber or electrician than with a Bachelor of Arts. The entry level liberal arts college educated job market has fallen apart as service industries become an increasingly larger portion of America's GNP or GDP.

And, yes, thanks to being forced to take macroeconomics at Cornell to round me out as an enginerd I do know the difference between GNP and GDP, although I've never been able to make a dime off this knowledge.

Nor have I found writing about music, philosophy, microeconomics, history of science and technology, or any other of my electives to be very financially rewarding.

Am I more well rounded and can I blather on endlessly diverse subjects while sipping wine and feasting on smelly cheese?

Yes, but would I have benefited from a little more time during my undergraduate years with a soldering iron, oscilloscope, and power supplies. Definitely!


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