Charles Murray Wants to Discredit the BA

So he says in the NYTimes.  He believes the supply of education in the liberal arts is too high because the demand for BA-carrying labor is too high.  As ennobling as it can be, the BA confers no skills upon its recipient. Instead, Murray says we need certification tests for entry level jobs.  He writes: 

Certification tests would not eliminate the role of innate ability — the most gifted applicants would still have an edge — but they would strip away much of the unwarranted halo effect that goes with a degree from a prestigious university

I agree the old Ivy League halo ought to lose some of its golden splendor. But this is wishful thinking.  You can (a) hire a guy who says he completed MIT’s free online courses and who has also scored perfectly on the certification test or (b) you hire the guy who went to Princeton and who scored well on the certification test.  Most employers who aim to hire these types will continue to hire (b).  Now if (b) had gone to a state school…


1 Comment

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One response to “Charles Murray Wants to Discredit the BA

  1. ming

    I don’t think that is wishful thinking. There shouldn’t be any good reason for employers to hire Ivy League types unless those schools teach/impart something that cannot be learned elsewhere. That is unlikely the case.

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