One of my previous posts expressed concern that we cannot judge the value of a college education solely by how quickly a graduate gets employment after graduation or to what extent the first job is necessarily the job the graduate had studied for and considers the life career. My first job after graduation, which was really an internship, was below minimum wage and far away from what I intended to achieve with my college degree. If that could happen to me in what were far better economic times than what our graduates are facing today, why should we be shocked today that students do not in this very difficult economy get the first job of their choice?
In the media’s near-hysterical coverage of the unemployment and underemployment of recent college graduates, the focus was simply on reporting the college degree as some kind of preprofessional credential. Professor Delbanco’s book forces us to examine a true college education, especially the value of a liberal arts education. He uses many sources to make his point, but the one that stayed with me was his quoting Matthew Arnold who described education as “getting to know the best which has been thought and said in the world.”
Just in case we don’t get to read Delbanco’s book cover to cover, Stanley Fish has summed it up in a column he wrote for the New York Times yesterday. I provided the link below.
Click to read article: Displaying Value: The Case for the Liberal Arts Yet Again