In a move that Goucher College in Maryland is describing as a way to “revitalize academics”, the college is cutting math and physics degree programs even though these vary same programs lead not only to multiple job opportunities, but also a high median wage.
What is more, the college had admitted that it didn’t even consider salary data for jobs in various fields when deciding which programs to chop and which to retain. Naturally, the programs remaining in place are graduate degree programs that one would expect from a liberal arts college, including M.A. courses in cultural sustainability, historic preservation and non-fiction.
Unfortunately, Goucher College isn’t the only educational institution putting a low priority on math and physics. Just a few days ago, the University of Akron in Ohio announced that it was also eliminating masters and bachelor’s degree courses in physics and math. Over half a dozen universities in Texas have axed their physics programs over the last eight years. The University of the District of Columbia removed bachelor degree courses in not only physics, but also marketing, economics and finance back in 2013.
While universities opting to ax STEM-related programs are unwilling to cite financial concerns, it is clear that money does play a role. It’s a known fact that UA is struggling financially, and Goucher College has not denied that it is cutting programs in order to cut costs even though it has clearly denied being in financial trouble.
At the same time, both educational institutions also note that a lack of demand has also played a major role in deciding to eliminate math and physics from their course line-up. As fewer students show an interest in these all-important programs, the universities are deciding to shut them down rather than look for new ways to promote them.
Unfortunately, in the end it will be the students who lose out by failing to learn valuable skills that would allow them to earn a good living in the future. As the Bureau of Labor Statistics notes, the median pay for mathematicians is nearly $41.00 per hour and job demand in the field is set to grow by an astounding 33%. Physicists earn a mean hourly wage of well over $56.00 per hour, and job demand will grow by 14% up to the year 2026. Those who study historical preservation, on the other hand, will enter a job market with growth ranging from 2% to 7%. In order to earn a mean annual wage of over $50,000 in this field, one would need to obtain a Master’s degree and most likely accumulate tens of thousands of dollars in student debt in the process.
Given the fact that many educational institutions are far more concerned about issues such as microaggressions and the policing of free speech than in providing a solid education to the next generation, it is not surprising that many colleges and universities are eliminating programs that have real economic merit.
Naturally, math and physics aren’t for everyone as some do better in other fields; however, the fact that important STEM courses are being eliminated throughout the nation while unimportant, even insipid courses are allowed to remain in place explains a lot about the current state of young Americans.
~ Conservative Zone