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College is remade as tech majors surge and humanities dwindle

Washington Post via MSN: “Two trends in higher education nationwide are colliding at the University of Maryland: booming enrollment in computer science and plummeting student demand for the humanities…Across the country, spring graduation season highlights the swiftly tilting academic landscape. Cap-and-gown roll calls for computer science and other technology-centered disciplines are becoming ever lengthier, and for the humanities, ever shorter. The number of students nationwide seeking four-year degrees in computer and information sciences and related fields shot up 34 percent from 2017 to 2022, to about 573,000, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. The English-major head count fell 23 percent in that time, to about 113,000. History fell 12 percent, to about 77,000…Computer science, a base for exploring artificial intelligence and other topics, is not the only hot subject these days. Data science has taken off over the past decade. So has nursing. Business, management and marketing have enduring appeal. In a time of economic upheaval, avoiding debt and landing a good job are top goals for many students. Value matters. “Public confidence in college paying off is being questioned at a higher rate than ever before,” Michael Itzkowitz, former director of the federal College Scorecard, wrote in an email. “Some of this has to do with rising tuition costs. Some of this was influenced by the pandemic, where many students were questioning the cost they were paying to learn from their home computer, rather than being on a physical college campus.” New data from College Scorecard shows how much the choice of a major can affect salaries. For U-Md. graduates in computer and information sciences who received federal financial aid, the figures show the median salary four years after earning a bachelor’s degree topped $116,000. The median for history graduates was about $53,000, and for English graduates it was about $47,700. Those figures echo findings at large public schools including Virginia Tech and Rutgers University…”

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