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Right, but the practical problem is that new graduates with degrees in Chemical Engineering can go to work for ExxonMobil or BP and make $100,000 the first year out of school. Ditto the finance majors who go to Wall Street. Then there is a tail of electrical/civil/computer/mechanical engineers who might start in the neighorhood of $50,000, and then qualified schoolteachers (it is not as easy as falling off a log to get a high school teaching job) starting at $25,000. Then an even longer tail of Philosophy, Sociology, Classics, Women's Studies, and Kinetic Motion majors who are unable to find a job of any sort.

How do you convince Shell to hire a Modern Dance major?

When I was in college, I was able to make $2300 in a summer--exactly the cost of tuition and living expenses for a year. At my first job, I made $8000. Nowadays, the price of school is up by a factor of ten, to around $23,000, but there are very few jobs available where you start at $80,000. Engineering, finance, law, physician...

by asdf on Mon Dec 17th, 2012 at 01:45:35 PM EST
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Dito. My first 'professional' job was as a teacher in a private school and I made something under $6,000. The next year I made something over $6,000. (To get a decent salary required working in the public school system, which required a teaching certificate.) This was for 10 months work. But this was 1967 and I could rent a one bedroom apartment in Santa Monica, five blocks downhill to the beach, for $67/mo. Hell, unemployment paid about $67/week at that time. And, because I was teaching, the payments on my ~$2000 student loan were deferred or forgiven, can't remember which. It is a totally different and worse world today for recent grads.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Dec 17th, 2012 at 10:23:37 PM EST
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