By Washington Square News Editorial Board
Washington Square News, New York U.
(UWIRE)—Getting a postsecondary degree takes an incredible amount of time and dedication. But in the current economy that favors computer scientists, nurses, and engineers, will your hard-earned certificate and thousands of dollars of debt be worth it? Is it worth the effort to get a degree only to apply for a job as a waitress later? Unemployment and underemployment are growing problems for college graduates coming into a toxic job market. Now, more than ever, college-educated young people have to settle for mid-level jobs that do not require the skills they worked so hard to acquire in college.
The state of underemployed graduates is particularly dangerous in this context because it can lead to competent members of our workforce being underutilized and because the underemployment will exacerbate the damage by putting this workforce knee-deep in education debt. The vicious cycle continues.
Concrete work experience creates a more impressive résumé. Perhaps the problem with the economy is that humanities students are likely graduating with few practical skills marketable in this global economy. Humanities-oriented students should consider complementing their education with vocational training or schooling. If they developed vocational training along with their liberal arts educations, they would be culturally enriched as well as competitive in the job market. This competitive edge will be based on the development of transferrable skills that their majors alone may not give them.
Given the monetary cost of attaining a degree nowadays, students who are not comfortable financially and are more concerned about the stability of their future jobs should consider professional schools or directly seek employment opportunities and internships. Concrete work experience, in conjunction with studies in the liberal arts, creates a more impressive résumé for employers looking for this balanced combination of work experience and education.