The Master's Phenomenon

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 5:00 AM

Laura Pappano writes for the New York Times:

He calls the proliferation of master's degrees evidence of “credentialing gone amok.” He says, “In 20 years, you'll need a Ph.D. to be a janitor.”

Among the new breed of master's, there are indeed ample fields, including construction management and fire science and administration, where job experience used to count more than book learning. Internships built into many of these degrees look suspiciously like old-fashioned on-the-job training.

Indeed; this is not necessarily a bad thing, but it does risk blurring the goals of graduate degrees further than they already are:

There may be logic in trying to better match higher education to labor needs, but Dr. Vedder is concerned by the shift of graduate work from intellectual pursuit to a skill-based “ticket to a vocation.” What's happening to academic reflection? Must knowledge be demonstrable to be valuable?

That's a very Newman-esque question and one very much worth asking.

HT: Travis McMaken.

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2 comments posted so far.

Re: The Master's Phenomenon

All the more silly when you realize universal high school attendance itself was nothing more than a union ploy to delay competition from young workers graduating after 8th grade. That 8th grade education then is now equivalent to many baccalaureate degrees.

Posted by Ed Hurst - Aug 02, 2011 | 10:52 PM- Location: "All Creation is but a tool for His glory."

Re: The Master's Phenomenon

That is even more disturbing, Ed.

Posted by Timothy Butler - Aug 03, 2011 | 6:43 AM- Location: Blah.

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