LETTER TO THE EDITOR | LAS, JCFA employment rates reflect option of continued education

The article “LAS, JCFA majors have worst job outlook at Butler” in The Collegian of Feb. 8 is highly misleading and inaccurate. The article maintains that “biology, history, philosophy, psychology and dance majors had the worst outlook last year for being employed within one year of graduating from Butler, according to institutional data.”

The data provided in the bar graph of the article shows, for example, that fewer than 40 percent of the graduating biology majors, zero percent of the graduating philosophy/religion majors, and fewer than 40 percent of the graduating psychology majors in 2010 found employment.

This looks grim indeed, say, as compared to marketing and management students who had an employment rate of over 80 percent within one year of graduating until one realizes that 52 percent of the graduating biology majors immediately continued with graduate or professional education, as did 100 percent of the graduating philosophy/religion majors and 67 percent of the graduating psychology majors.

Regrettably, the article fails to mention that the employment rates in these majors are so low because many of their students immediately opt for continued education.

What ultimately counts is the placement rate (the sum of the employment rate and the graduate/professional education rate) within one year of graduation and this rate is above 90 percent for most majors discussed in the article.

The article showcases the Office of Internship and Career Services and discusses how this office can help LAS and JCFA majors find jobs.

No doubt, the intention of the article is to provide encouragement for these majors, but it may end up doing the very opposite by presenting a misleading placement profile.

-Harry van der Linden,
professor of philosophy

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