Colleges used to market themselves as a place to settle for a few years, enjoy your coming-of-age and find your passion. Today, that focus has shifted from following one’s dreams to finding a job.
So colleges switched gears, revamping career centers, beefing up internship programs and encouraging students to mentor younger classmates. This shift come both as a way to cope with an embattled job market and because parents (who, on average, cover about one-third of their child’s tuition costs) want their graduates to be well-prepared for work.
“Parents and students’ questions and concerns have changed just as much as society has changed,” John Fraire, vice president for student affairs and enrollment at Washington State University in Pullman, Wash., tells the Associated Press. “Questions about job security, income, graduation rates — it’s to be expected.”
What that means for colleges is that public perception will undermine the value of, say, a liberal arts degree over something considered more practical, like something in science or tech.
That’s why tools like PayScale’s degree research database is such a valuable tool: it show the actual ROI of both schools and specific majors. Click here to see what we’re talking about.
To see a list of top schools by college degree ROI, click here.
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