GOOD

How the Recession Changed the Reasons Students Go to College

Students increasingly go to college as a path toward better jobs, not to pursue particular interests.


Is college designed to give students job skills, or to encourage them to study subjects they're passionate about? It's a question that can incite endless debate, but according to the 46th annual Freshman Survey—a project of the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA—students increasingly believe it's the former.

The survey, the largest of its kind, polled nearly 204,000 full-time freshmen entering 270 four-year colleges and universities last fall. Researchers found that 85.9 percent of freshmen said they're in college "to be able to get a better job." Prior to the recession, freshmen consistently answered “to learn more about things that interest me” as the major reason they pursued higher education.


Students pursuing different majors offered strikingly different motivations for seeking college degrees. Roughly 88 percent of freshmen planning to major in science, technology, engineering, or math, and 92 percent of students majoring in business, cited improved job prospects as the most important factor. Meanwhile, a relatively paltry 73 percent of humanities majors said job skills are most important to them.

Also predictably, 85 percent of business students said they're in school "to be able to make more money" compared to just 56 percent of humanities majors. But the good news for humanities majors is that, although their overall salaries remain lower than STEM and business majors, salaries for those grads saw the biggest percentage jump last year.

The recession has reshaped the entire nation, so it's not surprising that students are reacting by changing their priorities. Just as Americans who grew up during the Great Depression were shaped by economic hardship, the current generation of students are understandably motivated by a desire for financial stability.

Photo via (cc) Flicker user David Berkowitz

Articles
via David Leavitt / Twitter

Anyone who has ever worked in retail knows that the worst thing about the job, right after the pay, are the unreasonable cheapskates who "want to talk to your manager" to get some money off an item.

They think that throwing a tantrum will save them a few bucks and don't care if they completely embarrass themselves in the process. Sometimes that involves belittling the poor employee who's just trying to get through their day with an ounce of dignity.

Twitter is rallying around a gal named Tori who works at a Target in Massachusetts after she was tweet-shamed by irate chapekate, journalist, and Twitter troll, David Leavitt.

Keep Reading
Business

Childbirth is the number one reason American women visit the hospital, and it ain't cheap. In fact, it's getting more and more expensive. A new study published in Health Affairs found that the cost of having a baby with employer-sponsored health insurance increased by almost 50% in the past seven years.

The study evaluated "trends in cost-sharing for maternity care for women with employer-based health insurance plans, before and after the Affordable Care Act," which was signed into law in 2010. The study looked at over 657,061 women enrolled in large employer-sponsored health insurance plans who delivered babies between 2008 and 2015, as these plans tend to cover more than plans purchased by small businesses or individuals.

Keep Reading
Health

A meteorite crashed into Earth nearly 800,000 years ago. The meteor was 1.2 miles wide, and the impact was so big, it covered 10% of the planet with debris. However, scientists haven't been able to find the impact site for over a century. That is, until now. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal believes the crash site has been located.

Tektites, which are essentially rocks that have been liquefied from the heat of the impact and then cooled to form glass, help scientists spot the original impact site of a meteor. Upon impact, melted material is thrown into the atmosphere, then falls back to the ground. Even if the original crater has disappeared due to erosion or is hidden by a shift in tectonic plates, tektites give the spot away. Tektites between 750,000 to 35.5 million years old have been found in every continent except Antarctica.

Keep Reading