c. a liberal arts degree from a state-school is a bad idea. a liberal arts degree from a top 20 school is a less bad idea, but not the best one either. i don't know why kids keep on getting liberal arts degrees. i know that history is interesting, but shouldn't you kind of know going into it that your career potential is limited? what are you really learning?
I totally disagree with this. The liberal arts curricula provide an excellent thinking foundation applicable to a variety of fields. It's one of the only programs left that salvage the university's reputation of becoming a training post for corporate America. Besides many of the principles taught in finance and economics courses are based on antiquated models of the way markets work. How is that more useful than receiving and open-minded approach to education?
Yeah. Maybe saying that you're not really learning anything is harsh. I was not a liberal arts major, so I don't know. But it's symptomatic, isn't it? I assume you aren't learning anything because that's the stereotype and the signal of a liberal arts major. It might not be true, but what's true isn't necessarily what's getting you the job, which I think should really be the only thing of functional importance in a competitive society.
That said, I'll concede the point that liberal arts has a lot of great stuff in it. No doubt. But it's not stuff that is directly applicable. I hate to say it, but the economy is definitely breaking into segments. People who majored in science, engineering, accounting, operations, math, and sometimes some of the other general business majors (HR, Marketing, Management, MCS etc.) can generally get jobs out of college. People who majored in anything else (and sometimes even in those subjects) either go into customer service or law school.
It's because the stuff that you learn in the mathematics intensive subjects is directly applicable. You don't need 2 years of work experience as a mathematician to know how to do advanced mathematics. Employers trust you because math is math.
Of course there are exceptions, even large swaths of majors (journalism, oddly), can recruit into different positions, but they're exceptions and the employment prospects are still bleak.
This is why a lot of people, from my experiences, go to graduate school. It's tough to find a job. Employers are terribly unkind people. Markets are terribly unkind. Kids are comfortable with school. They associate school with safety. That could account for a lot of advanced degrees.