A study commissioned by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council issued a ringing endorsement of a liberal arts
education, and provided figures to back it up.
University of British Columbia labour economist Robert Allen used census data, graduation surveys and other figures to show that the PhD in philosophy flipping hamburgers is an urban myth.
In fact, most liberal-arts graduates are employed in professional or managerial jobs. While there is a general public perception that a university degree, particularly a general one, is a luxury, the unemployment rate among university graduates aged 25 to 29 is 5.8, much lower than the 9.3 per cent unemployment rate for graduates of technical or vocational programs. Allen's analysis also showed that over their working lives, the incomes of liberal-arts graduates rose substantially more than those of technical and community-college graduates.
- Based on a report in The Globe and Mail, October 26.