I hope I am not boring my readers with all of my posts about the college bubble and the meaninglessness of the current American college degree. From The Case Against the College Degree:
College degrees are poor proof of learning, and perhaps a barrier to it
Students want jobs and respect. Degrees bring both. Employers, meanwhile, want smart, capable workers. A degree is a decent enough proxy for intelligence, but we want it to be more than that. We want degrees to mean that students have learned the foundations of human knowledge literature, chemistry, physics, composition, metaphysics, psychology, economics and so on. If we didn t, we d replace degrees with inexpensive vocational exams.
Charles Murray, a fellow at American Enterprise Institute, calls for just that in a recent book, Real Education. He argues that too many kids who lack the ability to complete a liberal arts education are being pushed into four-year liberal arts schools, because there s a steep societal penalty for not getting a degree. Schools, in turn, have made their degree programs easier. Murray provides a sample of courses that students used to fulfill core degree requirements at major universities in 2004, including History of Comic Book Art (Indiana University), History and Philosophy of Dress (Texas Tech University) and Campus Culture and Drinking (Duke). He documents not only falling standards but rampant grade inflation.
Read the whole thing. He has an interesting suggestion too, but colleges won't go for it. For their own survival, they are committed to their marketing of their expensive credential, whether it means anything or not. In my experience over recent years, it means little-to-nothing.
You used to know what assumptions you could make about somebody with a BA. Not any more. Now, they don't even need to know basic calculus. That's crazy.