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Jan 30, 2013


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Andrew Brod

It's not offensive, your Sheikness, it's wrongheaded. The UNC system isn't a vocational school. It hasn't enriched the North Carolina economy by being a vocational school. Turning it into a vocational school won't solve our job-creation problem.


Barbarians at the gates. Again.

Ed Cone

Sorry, AB, the comment you replied to was deleted for sock-puppetry.

One of the problems with McCrory's glib take on the subject is that we're talking about a broad range of institutions, from research universities to community colleges. It's not that we shouldn't be thinking about the outcomes of higher education, it's that we shouldn't be doing it in politically-loaded soundbites.

By FAR the Worst person on the internet

Who was he puppeting? It was the only comment in the thread

Ed Cone

He appears to be your puppet, John. If not, please be careful, you may have been hacked.

We've had a problem here in the past with you using multiple identities to support your own arguments. Let's please stick to one at a time, thanks.

By FAR the Worst person on the internet

I wasn't really making an argument. What is the application process for changing one's handle here?
the current one's even starting to get on my nerves.
I was thinking about going with
Alec Baldwin's "Whatri D'aya Ria" but it seemed a bit unwieldy. Don't take this place so seriously. As far as I'm aware, it's never solved any of the world's problems

Andrew Brod

Yeah, but it's caused a few.

J. Sam Johnson

We are fortunate to have Tom Ross as head of the UNC system. The Governor's comments about courses offered at UNC-CH were well-taken. There is much silliness on campuses which does not lead to education. The Community College contribution to vocational training has been helpful, and President Ross can be depended on to encourage that, and to discourage useless courses.


Dave Ribar adds some perspective.

"The overwhelming majority of UNC system graduates complete career-oriented majors."

Andrew Brod

Nice. Ribar brings the facts once again.



The UNC system isn't a vocational school.

Some fields of study come with jobs at the end of the rainbow at a greater rate than others.

But "vocational"?

I don't think the term "vocational" applies when comparing the productivity of various majors and your acceptance of Ribar's information using "career oriented majors" suggests you do understand Pat's point despite your disingenuous use of the term vocational.

As to Ribar's information.

Where McCrory references majors, Dave provides information only down to the interest group level. It is within those interest groups that one would find the information on the particular majors of which McCrory rightfully questions the value.

A list by actual major would be helpful.


"A list by actual major would be helpful."

Stop making sense, PF. You KNOW it's not allowed here when there's a a partisan "progressive" political meme that needs to be fostered.

The rules that prevail here allow you to frame the viewpoint in any way that can distract from the unpleasant essence and truthful analysis of a problem created by the previously mentioned worldview.

After all, isn't that the raison d'etre for this blog?


Jim Tynen sums up the hysterical over-reaction regarding McCrory's truth-telling.

David Hoggard

Liberal arts major here. PoliSci and English. Useless crap, I know.

But when it came time to start a business, the "skills"I acquired, even though it was in Kentucky, proved to be just the ticket.

That is not to say that vocational ed doesn't need more emphasis... Especially in high school... But well-roundedness of liberal arts is very useful for reasons other than bucks in the bank.


This is not a vocational ed discussion, David. You are off topic.

Ribar provided the terminology for the topic discussed...

career-oriented majors
David Wharton

Poli, a listing of actual majors would be a mess; the description, degree requirements, and range of concentrations vary widely for each major from institution to institution -- the actual number of different majors would be in the thousands. DR's chart looks like a useful summary of that information.

Fun fact: students majoring in liberal arts fields see "significantly higher gains in critical thinking, complex reasoning, and writing skills over time than students in other fields of study." Among those making the least gains in these areas are business majors (source: Academically Adrift).

The UNC Board of Governors is considering using the Collegiate Learning Assessment to measure learning on all UNC system campuses (the test used in Academically Adrift). If it turns out that English departments turn out graduates with the best higher-order thinking and communication skills but weaker employment prospects, is the Governor going to argue that we need starve English of funds and increase resources to departments whose students apparently gain little or nothing in high-order thinking and writing?

I really do believe in accountability in higher education, but I don't think the Governor understands the institution very well. He should study recent events at the University of Virginia before proposing any legislation.

Dave Ribar


It's actually the terminology used by the U.S. Department of Education.


My fault Dave. I originally read the comment as yours. I see now that Roch was the source.

My comment should have read:

This is not a vocational ed discussion, David. You are off topic.

Roch provided the terminology for the topic discussed...

career-oriented majors

Dave Ribar


It is worth noting that graduates with majors that are not career-oriented land jobs at nearly the same rate as those with majors that are career-oriented. The governor's implication that successfully completing a gender studies major is "not going to get someone a job" is both dumb and false.

Also, the governor, who double-majored in a career-oriented field (education) and another field (political science) and then entered a career in a completely unrelated area (a management program at Duke Energy), conveniently forgets that an 18- or 19-year-old's career ambitions can be a far cry from a 22-year-old's actual career pursuits.

Ed Cone

NC has an unemployment rate of less than 4% for college grads, so it's not clear what exactly McCrory is beefing about. Maybe he was just showing off for Bill Bennett by laughing at haha pointyheadsamirite?

Andrew Brod

Oh, I think it's quite clear.


Dave Ribar:

It is worth noting that graduates with majors that are not career-oriented land jobs at nearly the same rate as those with majors that are career-oriented.

Is it really worth noting the above absent some recognition of the types of jobs landed? Part time? Full time? McJob? One could just as easily have said:

It is worth noting that the uneducated land jobs at nearly the same rate as the uneducated.
Which they do, but there is more to it than that.

Analysis in a vacuum is both dumb and false.


Not that it matters in vacuum based analysis but the Census has this to say:

About 1.5 million, or 53.6 percent, of bachelor's degree-holders under the age of 25 last year were jobless or underemployed, the highest share in at least 11 years. In 2000, the share was at a low of 41 percent, before the dot-com bust erased job gains for college graduates in the telecommunications and IT fields.

But perhaps it is better in NC...

Regardless, assessing waste in higher education is not a waste.

Dave Ribar


Gov. McCrory: "If you want to take gender studies that’s fine, go to a private school and take it. But I don’t want to subsidize that if that’s not going to get someone a job."

It's fine if you want to change the terms of the discussion to talk about types of jobs, but the governor said "not going to get someone a job."

Not that making the qualifications to type of job matters. According to the NCES, the median salary for just-graduated "general studies and other" majors (the category that includes gender-studies) in 2009 was $34,900--more than twice the salary of a full-time McJob. 80 percent of those majors were employed; 47 percent were employed in full-time jobs.

The employment numbers may appear modest, but recall that the just-graduated group also has high post-BA enrollment rates which decrease its employment (by 2009, roughly a third of the "general studies and other" majors had or were enrolled in some follow-on program).


"Roch provided the terminology for the topic discussed..." -- Short Attention Span Frog

No. I was quoting someone, as indicated by the quotation marks.


I see, Roch. The information appeared on the thread of its own volition.

There sure are a lot of folks refusing credit for presenting this information...



It's fine if you want to change the terms of the discussion to talk about types of jobs, but the governor said "not going to get someone a job."

So your quibble is with the absolutist terminology of "not"?

Would you have been able to focus on the point raised by McCrory had he said,

'If you want to take gender studies that’s fine, go to a private school and take it. But I don’t want to subsidize that if that’s not as likely to get someone a job.'

If so, yours is no more than an argument of distraction. That is especially the case when one considers the fact that "someone" is not "everyone". If McCrory said someone does not get a job due to their undue focus on Women's Studies, why do you assume he means everyone?

Andrew Brod

Let me try something...

Frog, liberals claim that the sun rises in the morning. Thoughts?


"Analysis in a vacuum is both dumb and false."

But it DOES pass for academic and intellectual prowess here.

How many times have we seen that in action?


Students have a right to take courses in whatever field their parents are willing to pay for. Right?

College is a time for aspirations, and practicality. about the future, not a time to turn kids into drones trading happiness for dollars. Plenty of time for that after they're on their first mortgage.

In addition to the chart depicting who got what kind of degree in NC, I'd like to see a chart, say, from 5 years after graduation, showing incomes ranked by college major. Are we sure that all those kids majoring in business are becoming Junior Titans of Capitalism, or are some of them commuting to franchise joints?

David Hoggard

bubba. If I hear one more cry from you about the one-sidedness of the discourse here, I think I'll puke. Do you have ANYTHING of relevance to add anymore? Or is it just pot shots from peanut gallery from here on out?



... liberals claim that the sun rises in the morning. Thoughts?

The sun only appears to rise relative to the Earth's rotation about its axis. The sun does not rise, the Earth spins.

But it's okay, Doc, liberals routinely fall for the show while missing the science, because science is, well, so hard and theater so very fun...

Ed Cone

Hoggard, that type of comment from Bob usually just gets taken out with the trash, so please just ignore him.

David Hoggard

Sorry. Will do. Just tiresome.

David Hoggard

May I ignore frog, too. He's just become entirely too infatuated with hisself.


Take your pick from below I kind of like medieval studies or maybe women's studies is up my alley or Slavic languages sounds like a winner or interdisciplinary studies so awesome. Gotta love the majors but back in the day we had leisure studies too.
Majors at Carolina
What do you want to do with your life? Whether you have a specific goal or are exploring all of the possibilities, Carolina offers you the opportunity to discover your passion. To help prepare you for success in the complex world of the 21st century, Carolina offers an innovative undergraduate curriculum that fosters qualities such as curiosity, initiative, integrity, and adaptability.

As a first-year student, you’ll begin your studies in the College of Arts and Sciences. During your first two years, you will complete general education courses that comprise the foundation of your undergraduate education. Depending on your interests, you may also begin taking prerequisites in preparation for your intended area(s) of study. These two years offer you the freedom to explore your interests and learn about the university so that you may take full advantage of the wonderful opportunities Carolina has to offer. We offer a comprehensive list of more than 70 majors and minors within 60 various departments.

African and Afro-American Studies
American Studies
Germanic Languages and Literatures
Global Studies
Applied Sciences and Engineering
Health Policy Management
Art History
Information and Library Science
Art, Studio
Interdisciplinary Studies
Asian Studies Journalism
Latin American Studies
Biomedical Engineering
Management and Society
Business Administration
Marine Sciences
Mathematical Decision Science
Material Sciences
Clinical Laboratory Science
Cognitive Science
Medieval Studies
Communication Studies
Comparative Literature
Computer Engineering
Computer Science
Peace, War and Defense
Contemporary European Studies
Creative Writing
Dental Hygiene
Physics and Astronomy
Dramatic Art
Political Science
Public Health
Public Policy
Radiologic Science
Environmental Sciences and Engineering
Religious Studies
Environmental Studies
Slavic Languages and Literatures
Exercise and Sports Science
Women's Studies
Writing for the Screen and Stage

Ed Cone

I pretty much gave up on Frog a while ago. Life is too short.

I find plenty of value in these comments, and over the years it's gotten easy to pass over the flame wars, Fox News recaps, and personal issues worked out in public.


I recently upgraded to Ed's edcone.com GOLD account, which allows me to ignore the posters of my choice. Poli and lolBob were my first ignores. Spag's melts bring the lulz so I don't ever see myself pulling that trigger.



I pretty much gave up on Frog a while ago. Life is too short.

Are the only people worthy of your attention those who may be converted or already are?


Here's some insight on Cone'a non-actual problem.

Final two bullet points:

"Past and projected future growth in college enrollments and the number of graduates exceeds the actual or projected growth in high-skilled jobs, explaining the development of the underemployment problem and its probable worsening in future years.

Rising college costs and perceived declines in economic benefits may well lead to declining enrollments and market share for traditional schools and the development of new methods of certifying occupation competence."

Start puking, Hoggard. Purging is as good for your mind as it is for your soul.

You're in dire need, assuming you possess both of the corporeal entities listed above.


Broken link, bubba...


This should work. The bullet points can be found in the Executive Summary.

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