Florida's university degrees: The real numbers
In light of Florida Gov. Rick Scott's call to focus state university degrees on science, technology, engineering and math, USF professor Sherman Dorn took a closer look at exactly how many degrees the universities have granted in different fields.
Dorn finds that "the reality is that business and health sciences are responsible for what the governor and legislators think liberal-arts programs are doing." That is, growing strong.
Here's what he discovered in the state's own data:
2000-01 bachelors degree recipients across the SUS: 35,724
2009-10 bachelors degree recipients across the SUS: 53,392
English majors (or those who had English as a first-major -- all of the data following are first-majors only) went from the gigantic, dominating position of 1,415 degrees in 2000-01 to the even more monopolistic position of 1,845 in 2009-10 (the last year data is available for the SUS). Philosophy went from 142 to 310 majors in the same period, which is dramatic growth but not exactly taking over the SUS. History? 506 to 904.
So where did the growth of a little under 18,000 additional bachelors' degrees come in, over that decade? The major growth areas:
Business: 8,487 to 12,015
Social sciences: 2,971 to 5,699 (or the social sciences absent a few fields otherwise listed -- I suspect much of the growth here is in criminology)
Health professions: 2,917 to 4,405
Psychology: 2,299 to 3,599
Biomedical sciences: 1,262 to 2,814
No other basic area had increases of 1000.
Something to worry about?