“My Women’s/Black Studies degree is just as valid as your Aeronautical Engineering degree.” We’ve all heard it, and we’ve all laughed at it. As ridiculous as this statement is, the real problem is that the folks who get these degrees, truly believe that their niche degree is somehow valuable outside of a Liberal Arts Program. Without another degree, good personal connections, or extraordinary qualifications, there’s really nothing that can be done with a BA in racial or gender studies.
“These skills include: research, analysis, writing, critical thinking, oral presentation, & problem solving skills.” The Portland State University Career Counseling web page for both Black and Women’s Studies has this stated under “What you can do with this degree.” These aren’t special skills and qualifications that are only acquired through these degrees. All of the skills listed, are ones that will be obtained in middle school, and developed in virtually any degree program that is offered by a higher learning institution.
To me, it sounds like these degree programs are just a money grab for the college/university. Whether it’s getting a second degree in conjunction, or going back for a masters and a PH.D, the school is making beaucoup profit off of gender/racial studies programs. While yes, many jobs do simply require a degree of any kind, they would prefer to have someone with a degree that is pertinent to the job. Some Human Resources positions for example, offer jobs for people with a 4 year degree, but don’t specify any certain degree. Theoretically, a gender/black studies graduate could get this job. However, if someone with a Human Resources Management degree shows up, who is the company going to gravitate towards?
While people should be free to study what they wish, they should also understand the risk of doing so. Instead of giving realistic expectations of what can be accomplished with one of these degrees, colleges instead encourage it and fail to mention that there is a very, very low chance of succeeding with one of these degrees. I’m sure career counselors do encourage potential candidates to get a secondary degree, one with better potential. But how many people actually do this? It’s expensive and a lot to take on.
Beyond teaching, there is nothing special that can be accomplished with gender/racial studies degree that can’t be done with any other degree. You have a degree, hooray. You just wasted thousands of hours and dollars, to get something that only says you graduated college. You didn’t learn any exclusive skills, or actually find a way to really contribute to society, beyond regurgitating the victim-creating BS you were taught in a highly biased classroom that uses Mother Jones as reputable source material. There’s no “privilege checker” position at the local women’s shelter down the street. There’s no high-paying job that has a need for someone with intimate knowledge of the black communities in Bismarck, North Dakota. It’s all a scam, and quite a a profitable one at that.
Will colleges remove these programs from their facilities? Maybe. Mount Allison had announced that they would cut the women and gender studies programs completely. But following cries of “misogyny” and “sexism,” the school has only decided to cut the funding in half, instead of completely. If they are ever cut, the ones who advocate for the programs will kick and scream until they get their way. If you have a degree of this nature, I’m sorry. You more than likely will not get a well paying job, and you will of course blame it on college degrees being worthless, rather than realizing the low worth of YOUR degree in particular.
University of Tennessee, What Can I do with this Degree: Women’s Studies