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          金融危機十年后 美國大學生專業選擇有啥變化?

          2018-09-10 來源:國外網站推薦 - 由[國外網站大全]整理 48

          2008年的金融危機給世界經濟帶來了深遠影響,甚至在十年之后,還在左右著美國大學生對于專業的選擇。如今,因為害怕失業,大學生們傾向于選擇職業前景明朗且更加實用的計算機科學和金融等專業,而歷史學、文學、哲學等人文學科專業則進入了漫長的衰退期,即便經濟復蘇也難以再現往日興盛局面。

          Ten years have passed since the 2008 financial crisis, and the effects linger. For one thing, the crisis produced a significant shift in American higher education. Scared by a seemingly treacherous labor market, since the downturn college students have turned away from the humanities and towards job-oriented degrees.

          2008年金融危機已經過去了十年,然而影響猶在。就說美國高等教育,在金融危機的沖擊下產生了重大改變。金融危機之后,出于對變化莫測的勞動力市場的恐懼,美國大學生紛紛放棄攻讀人文學科,轉而選擇容易就業的專業。

          金融危機十年后 美國大學生專業選擇有啥變化?

          It’s not clear they are making the right decision.

          他們所做的選擇是否正確,尚未可知。

          The humanities were humming along prior to 2008, according to an analysis by the Northeastern University historian Benjamin Schmidt. Over the previous decade, disciplines like history, philosophy, English literature, and religion were either growing or holding steady as a share of all college majors. But in the decade after the financial crisis, all of these majors took a nosedive.

          美國東北大學歷史學家本杰明·施密特稱,2008年之前人文學科還是挺吃香的。在金融危機前的十年,學習歷史、哲學、英語文學和宗教等學科專業的學生比例持續增加或保持穩定。但是在金融危機后的十年,所有這些專業的學生比例都直線下降。

          The popularity of the history major is an illustrative example. From 1998 to 2007, the share of college students graduating with a degree in history averaged around 2%. By 2017, it had fallen closer to 1%. (All data in this article are based on reports that colleges submit to the US Department of Education.)

          歷史專業的受歡迎度就是個很有說服力的例子。從1998年到2007年,獲得歷史專業學位的大學畢業生平均占2%。到2017年,這一數字降到了約1%。(本文中的所有數據都基于各個大學提交給美國教育部的報告。)

          Other humanities majors saw a similar fall. “Declines have hit almost every field in the humanities… and related social sciences,” wrote Schmidt in the The Atlantic. “[T]hey have not stabilized with the economic recovery, and they appear to reflect a new set of student priorities, which are being formed even before they see the inside of a college classroom.”

          其他的人文學科專業也經歷了學生數量的銳減。施密特在《大西洋月刊》中寫道:“幾乎每一個人文學科和相關的社會科學專業都遭受了重創。這些專業并沒有隨著經濟復蘇而重振,似乎反映出了學生心目中優先序列的變化,而這在他們走進大學教室前就已經形成了。”

          What’s replacing the humanities? Mostly, majors with a very clear career path. Of the 20 majors with over 25,000 graduates in 2017, by far the fastest growing was exercise science, followed by nursing, other health and medical degrees, and computer science.

          哪些專業取代了人文學科的位置呢?大多是職業前景明朗的專業。2017年畢業的2.5萬多名大學生就讀的20個專業中,迄今為止人數增長最快的是運動科學,其次是護理和其他健康醫療專業,還有計算機科學。

          In his research, Schmidt considered whether the increase in professionally focused degrees, and the fall of humanities, could be a result of the changing demographics of who attends college, rather than the result of the financial crisis. Increasingly, college attendees are more likely to be women, and a larger share of Americans from poorer families attend college. Perhaps it was these changes that explain the shift in preferred majors? It wasn’t. Schmidt found that the trend appears in nearly every group he looked at, including students at elite universities like Harvard and Princeton, where the humanities have historically flourished.

          在研究報告中,施密特曾考慮過,以職業為導向的專業增加,以及人文學科的衰落,是否由大學生成分的變化導致,而非金融危機導致?如今女大學生越來越多,還有很大一部分大學生是來自窮困家庭的美國人。也許這些變化可以解釋熱門專業的變化?答案是,并不能。施密特發現,這種趨勢在他所調查的每一個人群中都出現了,包括哈佛和普林斯頓等精英大學的學生,歷史上這些大學的人文學科一直很興盛。

          The decision by many students to turn towards a major that gives them clearer professional skills is understandable. A nursing degree is likely to provide a more stable income after graduation, making college loan payments more manageable.

          許多學生轉而選擇能賦予自己更明確職業技能的專業,這種決定是可以理解的。一個護理專業學位能在畢業后給自己帶來更穩定的收入,有助于償還助學貸款。

          But for many students, the turn away from the humanities may not pay off. As Schmidt points out, humanities majors don’t make much less than people who choose to study computer science and finance, and the differences are probably less about the chosen major than that the person who studies finance tends to be more interested in making a lot of money. Also, if the tech bubble bursts, computer science may even be riskier than a humanities degree, which gives graduates a broader set of knowledge.

          但對許多學生而言,放棄人文學科專業也許并不能帶來良好收益。施密特指出,人文學科專業畢業生的收入并不比計算機科學和金融專業的畢業生收入低多少,而且不同專業的收入差異或許并不是因為專業選擇所致,而可能是金融專業的人更熱衷于掙大錢。而且,如果技術泡沫破滅,計算機科學甚至可能比人文學科專業風險更大,因為人文學科專業的畢業生知識面更廣。

          Just as the 2008 financial crisis turned Americans away from the humanities, it is possible that the Trump era will bring them back. Amy Wang wrote in Quartz that the “historic” nature of the Trump presidency has stoked a renewed interest in history classes, leading the discipline to return to the top of declared majors for students at Yale. Although the US economy is stable, since the political climate is so turbulent the humanities may be more needed than ever to make sense of it all.

          2008年金融危機讓美國人放棄了人文學科,但或許特朗普時代會讓人們重新回歸人文學科。艾米·王在Quartz網站的文章中寫道,特朗普當選總統這一“歷史性”事件讓人們重新燃起對歷史課的興趣,這使得歷史學重新成為耶魯大學最熱門的申報專業。盡管美國經濟穩定下來了,但是當前政治氣候如此動蕩,人們比以往任何時候都更需要學習人文學才能理解這一切亂象。


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