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国际课程 - 详情
文章来源:国际部   点击数:   更新时间:2017-05-05

WHEN LaTisha Styles graduated from Kennesaw State University in Georgia in 2006 she had$35,000 of student debt. This obligation would have been easy to discharge if her Spanishdegree had helped her land a well-paid job. But there is no shortage of Spanish-speakers in anation that borders Latin America. So Ms Styles found herself working in a clothes shop and afast-food restaurant for no more than $11 an hour.

2006年当 LaTisha Styles从 佐治亚州的 Kennesaw州立大学毕业的时候,她欠下35000美元的学生贷款。如果她的西班牙语学位能够帮助她获得报酬优厚的工作的话,债务会很容易偿清。但在这个与拉丁美洲接壤的国度,从来不缺能说西语的人。所以Styles女士为了每小时不高于11美元的薪水,沦落服装零售和快餐店。

Frustrated, she took the gutsy decision to go back to the same college and study somethingmore pragmatic. She majored in finance, and now has a good job at an investment consultingfirm. Her debt has swollen to $65,000, but she will have little trouble paying it off.


As Ms Styles's story shows, there is no simple answer to the question “Is college worth it?”Some degrees pay for themselves; others don't. American schoolkids pondering whether to takeon huge student loans are constantly told that college is the gateway to the middle class. Thetruth is more nuanced, as Barack Obama hinted when he said in January that “folks can make alot more” by learning a trade “than they might with an art history degree”. An angry art historyprofessor forced him to apologise, but he was right.

正如Styles的故事表现的这样,对于“读大学是否值得?”这个问题并没有简单的答案。有些学位物有所值,而有些则不是。美国的在校生们在权衡是否要背上巨额学生贷款负担时, 经常被告知大学是通往中产阶级道路的门户。而事实更为微妙,正如奥巴马1月讲话中暗示的那样,相比获得一个艺术史学位,通过学习一门技术“人们可以赚得更多”,。一位愤怒的艺术史教授要求他道歉,但奥巴马是对的。

College graduates aged 25 to 32 who are working full time earn about $17,500 more annuallythan their peers who have only a high school diploma, according to the Pew Research Centre, athink-tank. But not all degrees are equally useful. And given how much they cost—a residentialfour-year degree can set you back as much as $60,000 a year—many students end up worse offthan if they had started working at 18.


PayScale, a research firm, has gathered data on the graduates of more than 900 universitiesand colleges, asking them what they studied and how much they now earn. The company thenfactors in the cost of a degree, after financial aid (discounts for the clever or impecunious thatgreatly reduce the sticker price at many universities). From this, PayScale estimates thefinancial returns of many different types of degree (see chart).

一个研究公司PayScale已经收集超过900所大学的毕业生的数据,询问他们学到了什么以及现在收入的多少。公司然后在排除财政补贴(对于天资聪颖或一文不名的学生的补助很大程度上削减了很多大学学费的“吊牌价”)后,把获得学位的成本计入考量。在财政补贴。据此, PayScale公司评估许多不同学位类型的财务回报。

Hard subjects pay off


Unsurprisingly, engineering is a good bet wherever you study it. An engineering graduate fromthe University of California, Berkeley can expect to be nearly $1.1m better off after 20 yearsthan someone who never went to college. Even the least lucrative engineering coursesgenerated a 20-year return of almost $500,000.


Arts and humanities courses are much more varied. All doubtless nourish the soul, but not allfatten the wallet. An arts degree from a rigorous school such as Columbia or the University ofCalifornia, San Diego pays off handsomely. But an arts graduate from Murray State Universityin Kentucky can expect to make $147,000 less over 20 years than a high school graduate, afterpaying for his education. Of the 153 arts degrees in the study, 46 generated a return oninvestment worse than plonking the money in 20-year treasury bills. Of those, 18 offeredreturns worse than zero.

艺术和人文学科的差异更为多样化。 所有课程毫无疑问可以滋润灵魂,但并非所有学科都会使钱包丰厚。学风严谨的大学例如哥伦比亚大学或加州大学圣迭戈分校的艺术学位收入丰厚。但肯塔基州的Murray州立大学的艺术毕业生,在付完学费后可预期相比高中毕业生在20年只少赚147000元。本项研究中的153个艺术学位,其中有46个产生的投资回报低于将钱投入购买20年期的财政部债权的收益。其中,有18个回报为负值。

Colleges that score badly will no doubt grumble that PayScale's rankings are based onrelatively small numbers of graduates from each institution. Some schools are unfairlyaffected by the local job market—Murray State might look better if Kentucky's economy werethriving. Universities that set out to serve everyone will struggle to compete with selectiveinstitutions. And poor colleges will look worse than rich ones that offer lots of financial aid, sincereducing the cost of a degree raises its return.

得分很低的院校毫无疑问会嘟哝抱怨PayScale的排名体系基于每个学校数量相对较少的毕业生。一些学校不公平地受到本地就业市场的影响--- 如果肯塔基州的经济蓬勃增长,Murray州立大学的就业也许看起来会好很多。 决心想要服务每个学生的大学将要努力和精挑细选的机构激烈竞争。 经费不足的大学相比财大气粗的能提供很多财政资助的学校看起来更糟糕,因为降低获得学位的成本也提升了其收益率。

All these caveats are true. But overall, the PayScale study surely overstates the financial valueof a college education. It does not compare graduates' earnings to what they would haveearned, had they skipped college. (That number is unknowable.) It compares their earnings tothose of people who did not go to college—many of whom did not go because they were notclever enough to get in. Thus, some of the premium that graduates earn simply reflects the factthat they are, on average, more intelligent than non-graduates.

所有的这些附加说明都是真实可信的。但总体来说 PayScale公司的研究一定过度阐述了大学教育的财务价值。研究并没有将毕业生的收入与其所学到的知识相比较,如果他们中途辍学的话。(这个数据不可知。)研究将大学毕业生的收入和那些没有读大学的人相比较---其中很多人没有读大学的原因是不够聪明而不能登堂入室。因此,大学毕业生获得的一些额外收益仅仅是反应了一个事实,那就是平均来说他们比没读过大学的人更为聪明。

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