Post Academic

So What Are You Going to Do with That College Degree?

Posted in The Education Industry by Arnold Pan on June 16, 2010
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I am a little late to give pats on backs to our recent college grads, but UC Irvine just had its commencement ceremonies this past weekend.  I guess it’s better late than never to say, “Congratulations”!  Since Post Academic is geared more towards career/journeyman scholars than undergrads, we don’t have much advice to give ’em unless they are heading for grad school or thinking about it.  But of course, there’s plenty of advice and doomsday scenarios for the Class of 2010 (and beyond), so I figured I would compile some of the things we’ve found.

"David Brooks" courtesy of the Library of Congress (public domain)

David Brooks column in The New York Times, “History for Dollars”

Summary: A conservative who proves that liberals aren’t the only ones who complain, Brooks sticks up for humanities majors, despite the odds facing them in the big, bad real world.  Trying to find what’s practical about the humanities, like the ability to read-and-write and the skill of identifying analogies (that’s scraping the barrel a bit?), Brooks boils down the need for lit and history types to understand and interpret what he calls “The Big Shaggy”, which basically describes the messy, inexplicable aspects of behavior and emotion that drive people to achieve the highest highs and lowest lows.  That the well-educated Brooks, who has a bigger bully pulpit for such things than just about anyone, can’t describe what he’s talking about in any more precise way than “The Big Shaggy” doesn’t exactly bode well for future humanists, does it?

More about “The Big Shaggy” and what your college degree might earn you below the fold…