The data behind the story seems to be bogus. A quick glance at online surveys of alumni indicates that the matter is, at least, more complex. One survey indicates more business majors unemployed than religion majors. And a look at a more reliable source, Georgetown University, suggests that there isn’t a huge gulf between religion majors and business majors when it comes to employment.
But even if the Yahoo! story were correct, when roughly nine out of ten graduates are employed, the comment in the article from its main source, Vicki Lynn, seems baffling. She says “I don’t even know what people do with these degrees to be honest. Unless they’re willing to go all the way to a PhD in philosophy, for instance, their career paths are zero.” If nine out of ten people with a degree are employed, then that statement is simply false. Worse than that, it is obviously false based on data within the same article.
So here’s a question. I wonder how many business graduates would see through the false claims in the article, and how many liberal arts graduates would. I would expect the number of the latter to be higher, since the liberal arts required courses in most university curricula tend not to be appreciated, and yet there above all else skills like critical thinking are taught, developed, and honed.
So thank you, Terence Loose, for writing that article. But it doesn’t illustrate the uselessness of degrees in fields like religion and other areas of the liberal arts. What it does illustrate is why the courses and skills taught in such majors and courses are needed today more than ever.