Continuing our week of commentary on Mark Taylor’s op-ed, here is Half Sigma:

But the question is, if everyone knows that graduate degrees (excluding professional degrees) are such a bad deal, why do so many enroll?

Well, I guess the answer is that SWPL culture highly values liberal arts graduate degrees, and U.S. society encourages people to have an optimism bias (no one in America likes a pessimist), so if only 10% of graduates get a decent job, 100% of students anticipate that they are going to be in the top 10%.

There’s also the factor that many of these students have rich parents, so they don’t really care if they can’t find a job, their parents will carry them.

Maybe, the real mystery is how can the university faculty look themselves in the mirror each morning knowing how they are screwing over their students?

Indeed. What does Taylor tell students who are admitted to graduate school at Columbia? Does he encourage them to do something else with their lives?

PS. “SWPL” stands for Stuff White People Like, but I prefer to think about it as Stuff Williams People Like.

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