|(Illustration by Phil Marden from Getty Images)|
When I was in the midst of my morning ritual of lying across the bed for 20 minutes while listening to news radio, I heard a commercial for The Washington Post newspaper. Basically, it blared something like, "Today, find out which college majors may land you a stint in the unemployment line." Immediately I grimaced and thought to myself, "I bet art is right at the top."
Sure enough, when I got to work and pulled up the article, there was art at #2. Dang. Why is all this informative crap coming out now that I've already graduated? Also, now that this has been discovered, shouldn't these stats be mailed to newly enrolled students along with their acceptance packages so that they won't waste four (or more) years and thousands (of their parents' or Uncle Sam's dollars) on tuition for a major that will not help them one iota during their inhabitation period on this planet?
According to The Post article, graduates with the highest rates of unemployment were those with degrees in "architecture (13.9 percent), the arts (11.1 percent) and the humanities (9.4 percent)." The most poignant and humorous statement in the report came from Anthony Carnevale, one of the authors who performed the study for Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce:
“People keep telling kids to study what they love — but some loves are worth more than others.”
I was an art major and I still find that hilarious. Seriously, folks, listen to the man. If you love playing the harmonica and your friends and teachers are telling you to follow your dream of starting your own harmonica ensemble after you major in music, don't do it. Okay, okay... major in music, but let your SECOND major (or your minor) be in something like economics, education or health which all have lower unemployment rates and make the The Princeton Review's Top 10 College Majors list.
While editorial commentary like "Why You Should Pick a Major You Love, Regardless of Salary" are sweet, having endured periods of unemployment in my life, I will have to agree with the reader known as FlyNMy40s who commented on The Washington Post story:
“I have an undergraduate humanities degree. But knowing how important eating and surviving was to me, I paired that with a degree in a hard core science (Chemistry) which I love too.
So far, I've never missed a meal!”