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Higher education高等教育是否还值得

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Higher education

Is college worth it?


Too many degrees are a waste of money. The return on higher education would be much better if college were cheaper


WHEN LaTisha Styles graduated from Kennesaw State University in Georgia in 2006 she had $35,000 of student debt. This obligation would have been easy to discharge if her Spanish degree had helped her land a well-paid job. But there is no shortage of Spanish-speakers in a nation that borders Latin America. So Ms Styles found herself working in a clothes shop and a fast-food restaurant for no more than $11 an hour.

2006年当 LaTisha Styles从 佐治亚州的 Kennesaw州立大学毕业的时候,她欠下35000美元的学生借款。假如她的西班牙语学位能够帮助她取得酬劳优厚的作业的话,债款会很简略偿清。但在这个与拉丁美洲接壤的国度,历来不缺能说西语的人。所以Styles女士为了每小时不高于11美元的薪水,流浪服装零售和快餐店。


Frustrated, she took the gutsy decision to go back to the same college and study something more pragmatic. She majored in finance, and now has a good job at an investment consulting firm. Her debt has swollen to $65,000, but she will have little trouble paying it off.


As Ms Styles's story shows, there is no simple answer to the question “Is college worth it?” Some degrees pay for themselves; others don't. American schoolkids pondering whether to take on huge student loans are constantly told that college is the gateway to the middle class. The truth is more nuanced, as Barack Obama hinted when he said in January that “folks can make a lot more” by learning a trade “than they might with an art history degree”. An angry art history professor forced him to apologise, but he was right.

正如Styles的故事体现的这样,关于“读大学是否值得?”这个问题并没有简略的答案。有些学位物有所值,而有些则不是。美国的在校生们在权衡是否要背上巨额学生借款担负时, 常常被奉告大学是通往中产阶级路途的门户。而现实更为奇妙,正如奥巴马1月讲话中暗示的那样,比较取得一个艺术史学位,经过学习一门技能“人们能够赚得更多”,。一位愤恨的艺术史教授要求他道歉,但奥巴马是对的。

College graduates aged 25 to 32 who are working full time earn about $17,500 more annually than their peers who have only a high school diploma, according to the Pew Research Centre, a think-tank. But not all degrees are equally useful. And given how much they cost—a residential four-year degree can set you back as much as $60,000 a year—many students end up worse off than if they had started working at 18.


PayScale, a research firm, has gathered data on the graduates of more than 900 universities and colleges, asking them what they studied and how much they now earn. The company then factors in the cost of a degree, after financial aid (discounts for the clever or impecunious that greatly reduce the sticker price at many universities). From this, PayScale estimates the financial returns of many different types of degree (see chart).

一个研讨公司PayScale现已搜集超越900所大学的毕业生的数据,问询他们学到了什么以及现在收入的多少。公司然后在扫除财政补贴(关于天资聪颖或一文不名的学生的补助很大程度上削减了许多大学膏火的“吊牌价”)后,把取得学位的本钱计入考量。在财政补贴。据此, PayScale公司评价许多不同学位类型的财政报答。

Hard subjects pay off


Unsurprisingly, engineering is a good bet wherever you study it. An engineering graduate from the University of California, Berkeley can expect to be nearly $1.1m better off after 20 years than someone who never went to college. Even the least lucrative engineering courses generated a 20-year return of almost $500,000.


Arts and humanities courses are much more varied. All doubtless nourish the soul, but not all fatten the wallet. An arts degree from a rigorous school such as Columbia or the University of California, San Diego pays off handsomely. But an arts graduate from Murray State University in Kentucky can expect to make $147,000 less over 20 years than a high school graduate, after paying for his education. Of the 153 arts degrees in the study, 46 generated a return on investment worse than plonking the money in 20-year treasury bills. Of those, 18 offered returns worse than zero.

艺术和人文学科的差异更为多样化。 一切课程毫无疑问能够润泽魂灵,但并非一切学科都会使钱包丰盛。学风谨慎的大学例如哥伦比亚大学或加州大学圣迭戈分校的艺术学位收入丰盛。但肯塔基州的Murray州立大学的艺术毕业生,在付完膏火后可预期比较高中毕业生在20年只少赚147000元。本项研讨中的153个艺术学位,其间有46个发生的出资报答低于将钱投入购买20年期的财政部债务的收益。其间,有18个报答为负值。

Colleges that score badly will no doubt grumble that PayScale's rankings are based on relatively small numbers of graduates from each institution. Some schools are unfairly affected by the local job market—Murray State might look better if Kentucky's economy were thriving. Universities that set out to serve everyone will struggle to compete with selective institutions. And poor colleges will look worse than rich ones that offer lots of financial aid, since reducing the cost of a degree raises its return.

得分很低的院校毫无疑问会嘟哝诉苦PayScale的排名系统根据每个校园数量相对较少的毕业生。一些校园不公平地遭到本地工作商场的影响--- 假如肯塔基州的经济繁荣增加,Murray州立大学的工作也许看起来会好许多。 决心想要服务每个学生的大学即将尽力和精挑细选的组织剧烈竞赛。 经费不足的大学比较财大气粗的能供给许多财政赞助的校园看起来更糟糕,由于下降取得学位的本钱也提升了其收益率。

All these caveats are true. But overall, the PayScale study surely overstates the financial value of a college education. It does not compare graduates' earnings to what they would have earned, had they skipped college. (That number is unknowable.) It compares their earnings to those of people who did not go to college—many of whom did not go because they were not clever enough to get in. Thus, some of the premium that graduates earn simply reflects the fact that they are, on average, more intelligent than non-graduates.

一切的这些附加阐明都是真实可信的。但整体来说 PayScale公司的研讨一定过度阐述了大学教育的财政价值。研讨并没有将毕业生的收入与其所学到的常识比较较,假如他们中途辍学的话。(这个数据不可知。)研讨将大学毕业生的收入和那些没有读大学的人比较较---其间许多人没有读大学的原因是不行聪明而不能登堂入室。因而,大学毕业生取得的一些额定收益仅仅是反应了一个现实,那就是均匀来说他们比没读过大学的人更为聪明。
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