Sunday, November 25, 2007

Two out of three news stories based on studies are a waste of news print

One in three graduates ends up in a job that does not require a degree, researchers have found.

One of the least promising starts for a news story. Even more unsurprisingly, arts graduates are more likely to be doing a job in which their degree is not relevant. The point is, well I stopped reading when a bit of fake political controversy was shoe-horned into it.

David Willetts, the shadow higher education minister, said Labour's obsession with its "artificial target" of getting half of all young people into university by 2010 had left millions saddled with debt doing courses which had a "poor track record" of resulting in well paid work.

Two jobs for which a degree is not required: journalism and politics. Some of the best hacks I know of don't have degrees. There are plenty of fairly well-educated but over bright ones out there who get by on feral instinct and not by intellect. (This, incidentally, explains why so many non-stories based on "studies say" appear in the press. If only newspaper recruited more science writers with the proper qualifications.)

For the main point: I imagine something similar applies to politics. John Major didn't go to university, Gordon Brown has a PhD. The difference this makes is pretty minimal as far as I can tell. A good education might make you a more rounded, and interesting individual, but – bar scientific and technical stuff – it's got little to do with turning out economically productive units with "skills". You'd have thought David "Two Brains" Willetts would know that.



Blogger Glamourpuss said...

Well of course, we all know that only point of doing any sort of degree is to get a job afterwards - I mean God forbid the experience might be valuable or important to us for any other reason.



10:56 am  

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