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"If an engineer got it wrong" (or alternatively, social sciences vs. physical sciences).


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I made this analogy in the above thread, but I feel it hasn't adequately been addressed. I have since invoked the things social sciences have gotten wrong as a case against them, but such points have been dismissed out of hand.

 

Quite frankly, I feel like it's a valid analogy. I'd like to add... if an undergraduate degree in sociology doesn't make you as employable as an undergraduate degree in engineering, doesn't that reflect poorly on either the service sociology is willing to offer, or on the customers' willingness to pay for "expert" opinions on it?

Edited by ScienceNostalgia101
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I don’t see an analogy in the post, and no, “employability” does not reflect poorly on the discipline. Colleges/universities are not vocational schools (can you get a job doing e.g. English Literature or Art History? Are there a lot of professional philosophers out there, just philosophizing?), and employability is impacted by supply and demand, among other factors. 

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2 hours ago, swansont said:

Colleges/universities are not vocational schools

That is exactly it. Of course many folks see a degree as an entry ticket to a job, but fundamentally that is not their purpose. 

And before everyone dunks on social sciences, it should be noted that according to 2016 census data from Statistics Canada, men with Bachelor's in Biology make less than their peers in Social sciences (in women it is reversed). The highest paid categories are in Nursing, Engineering Mathematics and Computer sciences. It is perhaps not surprising that more vocational disciplines are associated with higher earnings (with mathematics being an exception, I suspect it may be part of the big data boom), but it is also shows that the there are other indicators that one needs to recognize. Especially research in natural and other sciences is often a parallel stream to higher-paying industrial jobs.

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