Under the Arts Faculty’s restructure program they've committed to the “Deletion of units that do not contribute to Intended Learning Outcomes” which, according to Ms Allen, will limit each course to 14 subject choices, down from more than 40 in some cases.
“It makes your degree a lot more generalised ” she says, “it’s a generalisation of university degrees. It’s really sad.”
Um, more generalised? This is an Arts Degree we’re talking about here, not Medicine or Science. An Arts Degree. You know, the one that fills in four years of your dud pre-twenties life before you come to the depressing realisation that you really should have spent that time doing the hospitality training that would be handy now you've become a waitress.
An Arts Degree. The one that has produced entire generations of pizza delivery drivers who try to convince people they’re not functionally retarded once it becomes known they've done a Communications Major.
~Ms Allen goes on to say “the core units you have within a major or minor are really the ones which shape your employability, then the electives you do on top of that choose your path.” Employability?? Is she serious? It’s like she thinks studying Philosophy or English is some pathway to employment.
Three types of people study English: people who want to be lawyers and mistakenly think they’ll need to learn how to write to be a lawyer; people who want to be writers; and people who can’t do maths.
Ok, so I'm getting a little sarcastic now, aren't I? In truth, there is untold advantage for any jobseeker who understands Brownings allusionary references to Shakespeare’s personal identification with Shylock the moneylender, and the inevitable link to the anti-Semitism apparent in the distrust and suspected extravagance of his narrator in “How It Strikes A Contemporary ”. Stuff like that can open a lot of doors for a bright young wannabe.
~My first year of high school was 1981. One of the many sermons repeated at assemblies that year by our Deputy Principal was the one about planning for our futures. "If you expect to get a job after High School" he would bellow with his combover flapping in the wind like a kipper on a jetty "then you must make sure you complete grade 10."
Notwithstanding that he’d just let the cat out of the bag about being able to quit school after grade 9, I'd always just assumed I'd complete grade 10 so his rants were wasted on me.
On leaving High School at the end of 1984 the employment market had become competitive to the point that one had to complete year 12 to have a shot at getting a half-decent job. You know, one that paid more than about $75 a week, maybe one that broke the coveted $100 barrier.
Two years later and things had moved on once more. Anyone not considering going on to University was unlikely to find work outside Kmart. For the next decade or so Uni graduates did pretty well for themselves but progressively things tightened some more and I found myself needing to get Masters level qualifications if I was to progress far in my business career. So I completed my MBA and my career took off.
That was then, this is now. Expecting an interview with a large organisation without an MBA on your c.v. today is like trying to get past the velvet rope at an underground nightclub. Unless you know the owner, it’s just not going to happen.
Rocking up armed with an Arts degree and expecting it to open any doors will just get you laughed at.
If poor Georgia Allen thinks her Arts degree will be devalued by the narrowing of available elective options, she’s deluding herself. Her Arts degree is already less than worthless and if she’s not practicing how to balance a tray full of drinks in her spare time then maybe she’ll get lucky and land herself a job at Macca’s, if she’s not too old.