The value of the American university is sharply declining from year to year. With overworked adjunct professors becoming the norm, insanely high admissions rates, and a general “lowering of the bar” when it comes to course work, it’s no wonder that even major corporations, like Tesla, don’t really care if you’ve earned yourself a four-year degree. The inability for many students to transition their degrees into paying jobs is another gripe recent college grads have.
It also doesn’t help that there are a lot of majors that aren’t really in high demand when it comes to the workforce. There’s a huge demand for domestically trained skilled laborers, yet Americans, each year, eschew trade schools in industries that require workers immediately in lieu of “passion projects.”
Speaking from personal experience, I had entertained the idea of learning to weld so I could earn a decent income to pay for independent acting and writing courses on a part-time basis.
As the son of an immigrant father, he initially maintained that that kind of work was “beneath me,” and wanted to see me go into business school instead. Rather than listening to my gut, I decided to take my father’s advice and now I have a ton of debt. Personally speaking, my university didn’t really help me get the jobs I received; instead I leveraged connections through social media, took any and every job I could, and did my best to do great work.
It was fun and grueling work that took a lot of time, but I eventually ended up securing a writing gig I love (shout out to DFY for taking a chance on me years back). While I did learn from the few courses I took (which I would’ve paid for out of pocket, again, on a part-time basis anyway), I was blinded by the fact that a degree would somehow be my golden ticket to a job with a decent salary and health benefits.
This was not the case. And more and more Americans are discovering this for themselves, sadly.
And from the sounds of it, it’s what this dad was thinking after hearing that his daughter was planning on changing her major from mechanical engineering to women’s studies.
It was a decision that didn’t sit well with him, and he posted to Reddit’s AITA to know if he was an “a-hole” for embracing this stance.
He admitted that even though he had differing political views from his daughter, he wanted to know what the income earning potential of a women’s studies degree was and if she could put forth any sort of plan for how she’d acquire gainful employment after earning her degree in the program.
She didn’t take too kindly to his ultimatum for outright refusing to pay for the degree, however, and now the two aren’t speaking with one another.
There were a lot of people who agreed that the dad in question was indeed being a jerk to his daughter, but folks offered up a litany of different reasons why. There were several people who thought that he was being extremely provincial in his assessment of women’s Studies as a potential career path.
He was accused of being “misogynistic” and a bunch of people assumed he was a stalwart Trump supporter who just poo-poo’ed social justice warriors and activists.
He maintained, however, that his biggest worry is just ensuring his daughter is going to be able to secure a viable career path for herself.
On the flip side, there were also a bunch of folks who thought that since it was his money, he could do what he wanted with it — and that he was actually being a great parent who was just worried about his daughter not finding a job when she graduated.
Others thought that he could’ve gone about relaying such fears to his daughter in a more affable and constructive way and would encourage her, if activism is truly her passion, to develop a means of ensuring it could not only be a form of personal fulfillment, but financial security as well.
There are actually several career paths that individuals who major in women’s studies could secure for themselves, and the median salary is $75,373 a year. Many of these jobs are in education, but these degrees can transition into legal careers as well, which pay significantly higher than that of teachers and professors.
What do you think? Was this dad wrong for the way he approached the subject? Or does he have a point?