In Focus – Not Where They Hoped They’d Be – The Atlantic

In Focus – Not Where They Hoped They’d Be – The Atlantic.

Stories like this one always seem to rub me the wrong way.  The point is always to portray the result as somehow deeply tragic.  Look at these poor souls who devoted great time and expense into an education in one field, only to end up in a completely different field where little or no education is required at all.  To a certain extent, there is a tragedy involved.  Typically, the suggestion is that the tragedy is that the individual currently holds a service-industry job when they would prefer to have a different one.  But I disagree.  I would say the tragedy is that these people went to school at all.  That they wasted so much time and money on an education that obviously did not benefit them.

In anything even close to a free market, these types of incidents are bound to occur.  Given that the market for education in a particular field and the market for labor in a particular field are completely and totally different, there should be absolutely zero expectation of the supply and demand of a particular job matching up perfectly at any given time.  Factor in the fact that highly desirable fields of study often have little practical value in the workplace, while some of the jobs with the most practical value are incredibly difficult to learn, and outcomes like these should not surprise us in the least.

Also, there’s always a little tone of elitism in articles like this.  Something like:  “Look at this guy, he spent five years getting his PHD in Art History, and now here he is, *gasp*, working at a McDonalds with these lowly uneducated peons!!”  The simple fact of the matter is that we need service industry jobs.  The current job market would suggest that we need a hell of a lot more waiters than we need psychologists, corporate auditors, art historians, and whatever the hell a “religious studies” major is supposed to do.  The recent push in western societies for everyone to go to college is almost an indirect suggestion that we don’t need any service industry jobs at all.  How will that work exactly?

The tragedy for Marcin Lubowicki is not that he is an assistant manager at a McDonalds.  It is that had he skipped college entirely, he would probably be a district manager by now, and much better off financially.

About Dude Where's My Freedom?

My name's Matt and I love Freedom.
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