Saturday, December 11, 2010

S#@* liberals run - Colleges and Universities

In the past couple of years, you've heard lot's of talk about unscrupulous real estate agents, mortgage lenders, appraisers, etc. who conspired to put people into homes they couldn't afford.

I wonder when we'll hear the same accusations about college recruiters talking unsuspecting students into college degrees and student loans in which there are no careers ...................

With the help of a small army of researchers and associates (most importantly, Chris Matgouranis, Jonathan Robe, and Chris Denhart) and starting with help from Douglas Himes of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the Center for College Affordability and Productivity (CCAP) has unearthed what I think is the single most scandalous statistic in higher education. It reveals many current problems and ones that will grow enormously as policymakers mindlessly push enrollment expansion amidst what must become greater public-sector resource limits.

Here it is: approximately 60 percent of the increase in the number of college graduates from 1992 to 2008 worked in jobs that the BLS considers relatively low skilled—occupations where many participants have only high school diplomas and often even less. Only a minority of the increment in our nation’s stock of college graduates is filling jobs historically considered as requiring a bachelor’s degree or more. (We are working to integrate some earlier Edwin Rubenstein data on this topic to give us a more complete picture of this trend).

Back in the day (when I passed the CPA exam), we were required to have a four year bachelors degree in accounting in order to sit for the exam. Out of 188 total credit hours, I believe all of about 30 of those hours were actual accounting courses.

In the '90's, someone thought that accountants needed an extra year of schooling before sitting for the exam. Nevermind, that almost no new accounting courses were required of this fifth year. The accountancy board thought that we needed more Western Civ courses or another year of Music Appreciation, Urban Lobbying, or Human Sexuality to round out that expertise in accounting.

At the time, I thought it was a horrible idea. I still do, but I now suspect that colleges and universities are the ones who most lobbied for the changes since I don't think it helped the accounting profession one iota. And, in fact limited the pool of students who might get into the profession.

But hey, accounting degrees are pretty sexy. Who wouldn't want to stick around another year of college to take Federal Income Tax 103?


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