To the editor:
In a recent letter (Public Forum, Dec. 2), Michael Kelly writes that there is a gross imbalance in Kansas between “non-essential” and “profession-ready” graduates. He cites psychology as an example of students in the “non-essential” category. Broadly labeling a set of majors as “non-essential” reveals a misunderstanding of the workers a knowledge economy needs.
Not every job in our economy is a specialized, professional, position. The number of professional positions such as nursing or environmental engineering represent only a small portion of the job market. The engines that drive our economy require workers with broad training in numeracy, problem solving, critical thinking and the ability to do research.
As an article in the Guardian UK titled “What makes psychology and geography grads the most employable?” noted on Nov. 18, psychology graduates are less likely to be unemployed than the average graduate because they possess “an impressive range of skills that make them highly employable.” In fact, they point out that “profession-ready” IT graduates were twice as likely to be unemployed as psychology graduates. We need professionals, but we also need graduates trained with broad skills to do jobs our future economy has not even imagined it needs yet.