Fewer stu­dents are ma­jor­ing in so­cial sciences at some SC col­leges, statis­tics show

The State - - Local - BY LU­CAS DAPRILE ldaprile@thes­tate.com

Fewer South Carolina col­lege stu­dents at some schools have been ma­jor­ing in so­cial sciences since 2007, ac­cord­ing to newly re­leased statis­tics.

Be­tween 2007 and 2016, sev­eral S.C. col­leges of­fer­ing phi­los­o­phy, English, his­tory, po­lit­i­cal sci­ence and phys­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion have seen en­roll­ment de­crease by roughly half or more, ac­cord­ing to Com­mis­sion on Higher Ed­u­ca­tion data that was pre­sented to a state Se­nate com­mit­tee.

“In my opin­ion, the Great Re­ces­sion fo­cused prospec­tive col­lege stu­dents on the need for an ed­u­ca­tion that would di­rectly make their job search more pro­duc­tive upon grad­u­a­tion,” said Frank Knapp, co-founder and pres­i­dent of the S.C. Small Busi­ness Cham­ber of Com­merce.

The per­cep­tion that English or his­tory ma­jors are less likely to get jobs, how­ever, may be more of a myth. Grad­u­ates with a de­gree in his­tory, English or po­lit­i­cal sci­ence are more likely to have a job out of school than those who ma­jored in law or math, ac­cord­ing to a 2017 study from Course Hero, a web­site that of­fers on­line study ma­te­ri­als for stu­dents.

Not all S.C. col­leges are see­ing de­clines in so­cial sci­ence ma­jors. For ex­am­ple, only two of 12 col­leges that of­fer English lan­guage and lit­er­a­ture cour­ses saw de­clines. The data did not spec­ify which schools are see­ing de­clines and which are not.

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