Degrees to nowhere?

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  • VIDAR Murray, UT
    March 23, 2011 9:40 p.m.

    Being that stephenson thinks degrees in humanities and social science are worthless.
    And being that the majority of those employed by the state of Utah, in the department of human services have these degrees.
    And being that the majority of police officers with degrees, have degrees in these areas.
    And being that the majority of those who have degrees in corrections, have these degrees.
    Stephenson should put his money where is mouth is, and double the salary of everyone in these occupations.
    That way their degrees will be viewed as more valuable.
    Most of the people who work in these areas do it for the better of society.
    And I think many of these professionals are tired of being told education is wasted on them.
    Or maybe he would like to man up and:
    go patrol the streets as a police officer.
    Handle a caseload of paroles and probationers.
    Work at the state prison
    Work at a youth detention center.
    Work at the mental health hospital.
    Work as a adult protection worker.
    Work as a child welfare worker.
    Work for the division that serves those whith mental and physical disabilities.

  • Considering Stockton, UT
    March 23, 2011 4:12 p.m.

    Methinks many of those attacking Sen. Stephenson and other legislators as being stupid, ignorant, or anti-education are either misrepresenting or misunderstanding the comments and concerns the legislator has expressed about some degrees.

    Certainly any degree can be personally enriching. But the fact is, college is expensive and the State/taxpayer subsidizes a large chunk of the cost of a college education at State institutions. We need to consider more than mere personal enrichment before encouraging, much less subsidizing someone to pursue a degree that has limited market demand.

    It is also true that many liberal arts or other "soft" degrees provide great preparation for a wide range of graduate programs. But often only for the top preforming students.

    On the flip side of the coin, students might well benefit from some additional counseling regarding the practical applications of various degrees. Some students are well prepared and have a solid plan that involves an undergrad degree with little job marketability by itself. But too many others have no plan, simply major in what interests them, and are then sorely disappointed to discover that they lack marketable skills as their student loans come due.

  • Gus Talwynd Salt Lake City, UT
    March 23, 2011 11:42 a.m.

    Seems like the state legislature is the Employer of Last Resort. Some of the members appear to feel that a college degree is not important and place themselves as examples of that fact.

    Reading the Constitution may be the only requirement they see in pursuit of their chosen career. Mindless debates on ideological purity and passing a conservative litmus test is all they desire. That, and a fat government check for themselves, allows them to stand as the guardians of public morality.

    As long as they have some conservative mentor telling them what the Constitutions means appears to be all that's necessary. However, understanding that document is certainly not a prerequisite for advancement in public service.

    Particularly, they don't want to have any confusion created by other views or opinions. Education does take away from the simple-minded approach to public policy.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    March 23, 2011 6:52 a.m.

    Education can certainly be reformed to be more helpful, but in the world we live in, a degree of some sort is critical. Employers expect and demand it.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    March 23, 2011 6:17 a.m.

    My boss, who pulls down a quarter million a year and runs a $100 million company quite well, thank you, is an English major.

  • Curmudgeon Salt Lake City, UT
    March 23, 2011 6:11 a.m.

    I'm sure that Stephenson's undergraduate degree in psychology and aerospace studies, and Urquhart's undergraduate degree in biology, adequately prepared them for their careers in politics. One would think that they actually studied Machiavellianism. Or did they just learn that from on the job training and mentoring from fellow Republicans?

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    March 23, 2011 12:17 a.m.

    Almost no politicians have science degrees. Heh, it's almost like they want to keep people away from professions where they could go on to unseat those represenatatives.