Studies question the value of university degrees

Recent studies have raised questions about the investment value of a university education and, in particular, whether a college degree could be more advantageous for certain individuals.
Research conducted by the Martin Prosperity Institute and the Institute for Competitiveness and Prosperity reveals that the most lucrative post-secondary route differs from job to job. College-educated child-care workers and chefs make 8 and 9 per cent more, respectively, than their university-educated counterparts.

The data seems to indicate that the theoretical knowledge amassed in university is considered, by some employers, subpar to the practical tools acquired in college.

The state of the job market puts pressure on job seekers to distinguish themselves in any way possible, and some are doing so by adding a college degree to their resumes.

One’s field of study also plays a big part in determining just how much the time and money invested in a university degree will pay off. Studying engineering, business, or mathematics versus humanities or social sciences can mean a difference of 9.5 per cent in annual earnings.
Experts remain divided on the issue. TD Economics reports affirm that university is “the best investment you can make,” while economics professor Torben Drewes warns that “the investment is a risk.”

Nevertheless, the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada projects lifetime returns of $1.3 million from investing in a university degree — a figure most can be confident in.

With files from Maclean’s and the Globe and Mail
­— Natalia Moskal

Harvard website hacked

Harvard University’s website was hacked on Monday, September 26 by a group of activists who call themselves the “Syrian Electronic Army.”

The “sophisticated” attack forced the site to be shut down for several hours while the intrusions were cleaned up. They included an image of the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, and messages accusing the United States of supporting a “policy of killing” in Syria and opposing Assad’s regime.

The messages went on to make violent threats in broken English.

“Do you support the war on Syria? If you are you, as well as the following Syria’s population of 23 million people. This means 23 million mobile bomb. Imagine what we could do [sic].”
Despite the activists’ claims otherwise, researchers have found links between the hackers and Assad.

“Recent months have seen a rise in frequency and sophistication of these attacks,” said a Harvard spokesperson. “We are analyzing this event and will use the findings to improve our security practices for an environment that is seeing escalating threats.”

With files From, BBC News and Harvard Crimson
— Samantha Preddie