Fidel Castro once boasted that in Cuba even the prostitutes had university degrees. That was probably true. Communist countries had made a habit of running diploma mill educational systems in which much of the population, even the illiterate, would have some kind of degree.
Cuban education is actually pretty terrible. Its med school grads don’t even qualify in other Latin American countries. And we’re headed the same way with education being treated as a social program and schools that act like diploma mills with graduation quotas.
We’re spending insane amounts of money on overeducation that has no actual use. Instead more janitors in the US have college degrees than NASA employees and we have the best educated nannies in the world.
Elizabeth Chuck of NBC News reported this week on a “fast growing segment of the nanny industry”: American-born college graduates. Since the mid-nineties, the profession has seen a rise in these well-credentialed caretakers, who “could go into law, medicine or other fields but are choosing to become career nannies,” often because they cannot find work elsewhere.
Cliff Greenhouse, president of New York City’s Pavillion Agency for personal service placement, confirms it. “More and more families are saying, ‘I just want someone with a Master’s degree,’” he told me over the phone. “Whether or not it’s in child psychology or some other field, it shows a commitment to education that families believe will rub off on their children.”
That’s nice I suppose. Unfortunately much of this is being subsidized by taxpayers. And it means that we have students piling up six figure debts and then going to work as nannies.
As Christina Hoff Summers frequently points out, women are a majority on campus.
Women in the United States now earn 62 percent of associate’s degrees, 57 percent of bachelor’s degrees, 60 percent of master’s degrees, and 52 percent of doctorates.
But what isn’t discussed is what happens to a lot of them. Quite a few apparently become nannies. A job once meant for women from the low end of the upper class with no other prospects.
We’re not quite at the point where everyone has a degree, but we are on the road to there. College degrees don’t mean the jobs of tomorrow, no matter how often Obama says it. Often they mean getting the same job that people without college get, but with the added bonus of a pile of student loans and a job market where employers now learn to demand people with Master’s Degrees for work that doesn’t require it.