In his August 12 Portland Press Herald article,"Rethinking the college major," Dr. Joseph McDonnell, dean of the College of Management and Human Service, discusses massive open online courses and the future of higher education:
"University students today are far more likely to pursue a major in the sciences, technology, business, accounting, engineering or nursing than students in previous generations. The reason: jobs. Graduates in these majors are more likely -- or at least they think they are more likely -- to secure jobs that lead to careers.
Responding to this change, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and Harvard College independently issued reports recently raising concerns that fewer students are pursuing majors in the humanities -- history, philosophy, languages, the arts and English literature. According to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the number of students completing an undergraduate degree in the humanities decreased 50 percent in the past four decades.
Is there any wonder students today seek more vocational majors, considering the high cost of tuition, the debt they are amassing and the scarcity of jobs for graduates? Students and their parents are simply trying to maximize the return on their considerable investment in higher education."