Earning your way?

I am guessing that not all readers of this blog take their careers advice from the magazine Cosmopolitan. Nevertheless, if you did it has some things to tell you today: that you should avoid studying historical and philosophical studies, social studies (excluding economics), biological sciences,  education, English studies, psychology, communications (including media studies, journalism, and publishing), agriculture, and creative arts and design. None of these, Cosmo assures you, will make you rich, and their graduates typically earn less than those with other, different degrees.

It is a little difficult to know what Cosmopolitan actually wants us to conclude from this list: that money is bad; or that it is very good, but not available all who seek it? Is it that some of these courses have no merit? Or is the message that students should think entirely about their financial ambitions before signing on for any particular course, rather than, say, intellectual aptitude? Are anticipated salary figures the currency of student choice? Or maybe the message is that we, society, do not sufficiently value some subjects that contribute particularly to social, cultural and economic wellbeing. If the latter, it may be high time to think again.

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3 Comments on “Earning your way?”


  1. I don’t think it is the latter. It is a supply/demand issue. Society does indeed overvalue musicians and journalists, so too many kids want to do that and there are not enough jobs for them. But strangely many also feel that having studied what they love they still should have an iphone rather than a dull android.

  2. Vince Says:

    Probably what they want to suggest is only those with ‘real’ money, old money. Money enough to survive the lack of incomes from the writing of history, classics or any other Art beyond the law.
    But what it really does indicate is just how far beyond the WW1 we’ve gone in attitude.

  3. Anna Notaro Says:

    I am not sure today’s post really captures the complexity of the topic, this is mostly due to the choice to refer to the Cosmopolitan article, rather than to engage with the BBC one where, in spite of the ill-conceived headline: “The degrees that make you rich… and the ones that don’t” there is room for a more in-depth analysis, particularly in relation to the gender pay gap for male and female graduates or the social background of students http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-41693230

    This is more than merely a supply/demand issue, as argued above, but one which is deeply ingrained in our societal and cultural fabric and which, consequently, makes a mockery of any attempt to rank universities according to their students’ earnings.

    As an appendix, I would add that Cosmopolitan, (a magazine which traditionally attracts a female readership), has missed a great opportunity by not mentioning the gender pay gap in its short piece, perhaps such a topic could not favorably compare with “the ranking of the best Christmas sandwich 2017”, http://www.cosmopolitan.com/uk/worklife/campus/a13808374/university-courses-lowest-pay/
    It’s the rankings, stupid!


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