Friday, July 23, 2010

College degrees and the job market

We find from a recent article that hit both CNN and Yahoo that Engineers, particular engineers in the petroleum industry are among the highest paid people out of college. Coker does not have petroleum engineering degree, so we probably are not going to fare well in a comparison with petroleum engineering majors. But, when we look at the same article, we see that Coker is being compared with Ivy League schools and some of the other top universities in the nation. I wonder if maybe we should not feel pretty good about being thought of in the same article as these major universities. For a great part of Coker's history the college was a top educational choice for women in South Carolina. Since about 1969 Coker has been graduating men and women -- many of the traditional college graduation age of 21 and 22 and many graduates entering new phases of their lives with college degrees at the ages of 38 and beyond. This small liberal arts college in the northeast section of South Carolina has been doing some amazing things in higher education for more than 100 years. So far, we have not focused on graduating those who would be joining the ranks of millionaires and more as some IVY League colleges do, but just ask anyone who has been at Coker for any length of time and they will tell you story after story after story of people with Coker College degrees making significant impacts on the communities in which they live. As a faculty member at Coker, I am glad to see people talking about Coker in the same article as they are talking about an IVY league college such as Dartmouth.

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