Friday, December 21, 2018

The Master’s of Arts Degree Exposed

By Professor Doom

“I’ll get my graduate degree!”

--it’s weird how there’s always a personal pronoun, in this case “my,” in these types of statements.

     Quite a number of college graduates get their spiffy degree, go out into the real world…and find out their degree is worthless. Trouble is, even with a worthless degree, they’ll still have to pay off the student loan debt, and doing so on a barista’s pay is daunting, if not impossible.

     But if you go back to school, to get that ever so precious “graduate degree,” you don’t have to make payments on your undergraduate debts. So now we have throngs of people filing in to graduate school.

      Now grad school tuition is much higher, and accreditations says even less about graduate education than it does about undergraduate education. So we have a huge profit motive, and a huge potential for corruption.

       I’ve noted that Administration grad school is a joke, and of course I’ve shown Education grad school is a joke. To be fair, you generally don’t fail graduate courses no matter how little or how poorly you do in them (my own eyeballs saw it enough times in grad school), so retention and other stats look good. On the other hand, actually getting the mathematics MA requires passing some tests outside of the classes being took—this allows the department to satisfy administrative demands, while still preserving the integrity of the degree.

     But those are only the degree programs I can discuss in any detail. One of the most common graduate degree programs is a Master’s in Communication. Because the basic Communication degree is worth so little (because it demands so little), there’s an extra demand for a “better” Communication degree.

       A YouTube video gives a first hand account of what an MA Communication degree entails. This is important because, much like with community college coursework, it’s reasonable suspect that what’s printed in the catalogue is unhinged from the reality of the actual courses.

     A typical Master’s degree runs around a dozen courses, taking three a semester for two years, though some places offer a “super-convenient” 1 year Master’s program. What were her courses like?

“…people who go into Communication tend to be vapid…”

     Good to see she knows her degree isn’t actually a brain-strainer.

“…as we go around the room on the room…sinking feeling…research interests are queer studies…Marxism…more Marxism…”

     Wait, so now Communication is now about ideology, too? That’s a shame.

      Her conservative leanings quickly led her to being attacked by the other students; I sure don’t recall anyone in Math grad school caring about politics. We were too busy trying to understand mathematics.

“Cultural Analysis…I gave a presentation on (the British) Empire, and showed them a clip…

--I apologize for a weak transcription. The clip is a balanced discussion of the British Empire, pointing out both its cruelties and its accomplishments.

      After her presentation, she had a discussion with the class about the balanced discussion of the effects of the British Empire upon the world.

“The Professor of the course posted on Facebook how I’m a defender of colonialism…”

      Hey, remember when a professor caught heat for publicly supporting a student who believed in heterosexual marriage as a good thing? I won’t be holding my breath to see if the professor here will get the same rough treatment.

“…in this course we read the original texts of Marx…”

--Seriously. I can’t make this stuff up. I remind the reader this graduate study in Communication.

     The grad student then goes on to list course after course of simply ideological indoctrination. I concede I don’t know exactly what should go into a graduate level Communications program but…it seems like it would involve how to operate at least some of the modern communications equipment which is so critical to every aspect of the modern world.

      I would have never suspected Communication was mostly about ideology.

“…in one of their classes they just meditated…”

      I point out, these students are paying many thousands of dollars for such “material.” Meditation is fine, mind you but…why pay so much? Honest, you can meditate at home.

“…I wrote a lot of reflection papers….”

      A reflection paper is just a short essay giving an opinion on something…you can’t do this wrong (great retention!), but is this really worth the graduate level tuition?

“…this was mostly a nothing class…”

     Bottom line, these guys pour out of grad school after taking a dozen or more courses, filled with ideology, nothing, or, at best, meditation.

     This student waited until after she graduated before spilling the beans on what her grad school experience was like, so she’s obviously clever, even as she’s annihilated her chances at a career in academia. She’s something of a celebrity, but her identity isn’t the issue here. It’ll be a long time before the fraud of (much of) graduate school is exposed, I admit, since we’re not even close to revealing the fraud of (much of) higher ed in general.

      But that day, like the day I’m finally done with cancer treatments, is coming. I sure hope to live to see it.


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