Florida governor Rick Scott just singled out anthropology degrees as especially useless for the job market. With government jobs making up more than 15% of Florida’s employment and an unemployment rate of 10.7% (http://www.bls.gov/lau/), it looks like the only really useful skill in Florida is knowing Rick Scott.
He is, of course, completely wrong. Nobody gets a job in their field straight out of college anymore, and everyone settles for whatever job they can find. Let’s be honest: There are plenty of unemployed engineers and math teachers. There are plenty of unemployed everything. A college degree means very little these days in terms of getting a job, but it’s still a necessity if you ever want to make a living. You might as well study what you love because unless it’s accounting or web design, you’re not going to get a job doing it.
I know why Rick Scott hates anthropology: It teaches evolution. It causes you to question your religion. It asks you to to critically examine things you take for granted. It insists that you give up your prejudices. Like all social sciences, it is secular, humanist, and progressive. It probably turned his daughter against him.
We’ll take it on the chin, we anthropologists, because unlike Scott, we know we make the world a better, smarter place. It’s easy for me, in particular, because I have a really good job. I wonder how long Scott will?