How To Do Life

Fresh ideas about career and personal issues

Should You Go Back to School?

Is going back to school the wisest use of your time and money? Read More


I would like to congratulate Dr. Nemko on the most thoroughly cited and balanced thing I've ever read of his. He manages to take an angle and make his point without overt vitriol or cartoonish language brutality. Bravo.

You see? Simply editing the resentment and hyperbole makes the writing so much stronger and so much more believable (although I did notice that he couldn't help but slip a "marketing machine" into the mix; nevertheless, this entry marks a definite improvement in tone and reasoning---there's hope for you yet, Marty).

However Marty…

You should have cited a more recent survey than 2012. Economics are dynamic and the 2014 job outlook is better for college graduates than it was two years ago, and it is still in the process of getting better.

You did not include the very important long term outlook for college graduates or the outlook for people without a college degree; whatever they are, both are important to this discussion; you should not elide them even though you want to make a point.

Additionally, employees may find a brick wall when asking employers about the value of various programs, nor is this really a fair question, even for HR reps; companies are very savvy about litigation.

I do wish you had identified whether "XXX College" is a traditional not-for-profit school or a propriety college; it sounds like a for-profit enterprise; this also makes a difference. Certainly

Also Marty, am I wrong that you have disdained the lowly English lit major (didn't you make a joke on the Daily Show?) but your own link to Academically Adrift reads, and I quote:

"Students majoring in liberal arts fields see 'significantly higher gains in critical thinking, complex reasoning, and writing skills over time than students in other fields of study.' Students majoring in business, education, social work and communications showed the smallest gains."

And perhaps you should have included some of the criticisms of this very important examination.

Nevertheless, it certainly has taken a while, but I do see that our partnership is working. Congratulations.


I appreciate the kind words and the suggestions but I should make clear to the readers here that I have no partners in my writing. Whatever blame or credit must rest at my feet.

Of course, all writing reflects its author's reading, conversations, and other experiences, and to that extent, if you consider that being my partner, then thank you, pardner.

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Marty Nemko is a career and personal coach based in Oakland, Ca. and the author of 7 books. 

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