It usually wasn't until we Baby Boomers graduated and sought out work that we discovered that the liberal arts degree we earned often wasn't respected by employers. In fact, for some of us it became the 800-pound gorilla that we had to figure out how to tame in our credentials. Left out there unmanaged, that credential could be a killer of our ability to be hired by American business, the place where many of us wanted to be.
The story has not changed, unfortunately. Today, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL reports that liberal arts graduates continue to struggle more than those with other kinds of backgrounds. For example, their average level of student loan debt is, at $21,576, higher than that of other graduates. That comes out to a monthly nut of about $248 which is difficult to keep up with since, even after a few years work experience, they gross about $40,000 annually. Those earning engineering or computer science degrees are often offered 10 to 20 thousand dollars more than that even for an entry level position.
The question educational planners, parents, and students have to ask if those enrolling in higher education can "afford" to invest in a liberal arts curriculum? Is it necessary, with the cost of education so high, to choose a course of study which has better compensation prospects in the marketplace?
No surprise, for years and years I regretted how much I had put into learning about subjects in the humanities. In my particular situation it was all the worse because I had gone on from undergraduate to graduate studies in literature and linguistics. It took several years for me to land on my feet professionally. That was when Chevron offered me a position in executive communications. That's how I developed the skill I continue to use today as a freelance ghostwriter/speechwriter. I have made peace with the past but, when asked, advise youth to do a double major. That hedges career bets.