Liberal Education in the USA

I graduated from San Diego State University with a BS Bachelors of Arts degree in Psychology. The SDSU psychology program has only several classes that are actually practical, but one of them is statistics. Here’s an example of what I learned: The median income of a new CSU student graduating with a psychology degree is $34,095 [1]; whereas, the 2000 National Census found that individuals with only a GED earning on average $32500 [2](so suck on that GEDrs!).

But really, I’m on a quest to uncover the rational for the psychology degree. It didn’t take me long to discover my first piece of evidence. According to this [3] (somewhat dated but still relevant as ever) Daily Aztec article republished in HighBeam Research: San Diego State U. statistics say career choices aren’t about cash.
“ SAN DIEGO — Money — does it draw students to their future careers?

The answer is no, according to statistics and students at San Diego State University. These days, it seems that money is not the top priority when choosing a career.

And man are they right. Psychology is the lowest on the totem when it comes to raking in the bucks, right below – Sociology $35,434 — Visual and Performing Arts $35,073 — and English $35,453 you will find Psychology $34,095 students with an average loan debt around $14,245 [4]. However, it’s true, it shouldn’t always be about the money. There needs to be a balance between job satisfaction and a competitive wage. Thus, it is my contention that a description of what a University should provide to its students can be formulated in one sentence: it’s the duty of a University to provide an education that instills the knowledge and tools that valued by employers within the particular job market the student had in mind when choosing their major. For instance, if a student is thinking they would perhaps like to one day work in the rent-a-car industry, they should choose psychology as a major, because Enterprise is one of the biggest employers of psychology graduates. Universities have done a great job providing psychology majors the knowledge and tools that are appealing to the car rental industry.

(stay tuned – more updates will follow!)


1. Now anyone can go to M.I.T. for free [5]