“Don’t major in history or the social sciences.” That’s what many members of the college-bound younger generation hear, alongside such advice as “don’t do drugs” and “don’t get a girl pregnant.”
We seem to be getting the message. The College Board asks students who take the SAT what their intended major is. In 1995, 11 percent said history or one of the social sciences. In 2013, 3 percent did.
People change their minds before they get to college, and they change their majors once they’re in college. In terms of what people actually graduate with a degree in, the decline has been much more modest. Not everyone is smart enough to be an engineer.