Senator Marco Rubio stood out in Tuesday’s Republican debate as the only candidate to raise higher education as an issue. The Florida senator criticized an “outdated” higher education system. “It’s too expensive, too difficult to access, and it doesn’t teach 21st century skills,” he said. In the countryside, Rubio has also been critical of traditional higher education.
As he did previous occasionsRubio on Tuesday also singled out liberal arts education for particular criticism, calling for a greater focus on vocational training.
“I don’t know why we stigmatized vocational education,” he said. “The welders earn more money than the philosophers. We need more welders and fewer philosophers.
Later, in his closing statement, Rubio lamented that many Americans have “thousands of dollars in student loans – for a degree that doesn’t lead to a job.”
onlooker pointed out after the debate that Rubio was wrong to claim that welders earn more than philosophers. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual income of philosophy and religion teachers at the postsecondary level is $ 63,630, while the median for welders and allied fields is $ 37,420.
One of the other times Rubio has criticized philosophy, Amy E. Ferrer, executive director of the American Philosophical Association, said, “Rubio’s refrain on the value of philosophy is unfortunate – and misinformed. Philosophy teaches many of the skills most valued in today’s economy: critical thinking, analysis, effective written and verbal communication, problem solving, and more. And the success of Philosophy majors is confirmed by the two data – which shows that Philosophy majors consistently outperform almost all other majors in graduate entrance exams such as the GRE and LSAT, and that philosophy is linked to mathematics for the highest percentage increase from start to mid-career salary.