The argument that social science degrees are absolutely worthless for getting a job in modern society has been coming up for decades, but it has grown louder in the last ten years.
Supposedly these degrees are absolutely useless in terms of finding a job, so they are a waste of money. Further, they are a waste of society’s money.
This argument mostly comes from conservatives, but some liberals have taken it up too. I’d like to point out that the roots of this argument lie in laissez faire free market neoliberal capitalism. So all of you making this argument are in bed with Milton Friedman. I hope you’re happy.
This is so because the only degrees that are said to be worthwhile are those degrees that are useful in a sociopathic hyper-individualistic anything goes free market economy such as we are blighted with here in the US.
The only degrees that are worthwhile are those that will get Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Donald Trump, Betsy DeVos, Howard Schmidt, Jeffrey Epstein, Steve Jobs, or other semi-sociopathic heartless maniac billionaires to hire you for whatever capitalist scam they are cooking up at the moment.
And everything else, everything that doesn’t allow you to be a cog in a lying, cheating, thieving corporate world, is completely and utterly useless. Because the Market is everything and everything is the Market.
In such a society it should not be surprising that conservatives, mostly conservative males, say that anything other than a math, science, tech, business or management degree is utterly worthless.
Japan is thinking of phasing out all of its social sciences in the next decade or two. There have been many calls to reduce or eliminate social science programs at US universities. These calls go right along with the total commodification of life that we are experiencing.
Furthermore, they display a contempt for knowledge and the scholarship needed to obtain it as a core value of human existence. Why are we here anyway? How about to learn? That would be one of my arguments. Not that most folks have any use for much learning, but the species as a whole does. It’s a value. No you can’t slap a dollar sticker on it and it often has little or no monetary value. In modern society that means it is utterly worthless. Why? Because it doesn’t make a buck.