Paragraph Completion- Choice of a Major

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Paragraph Completion - Choice of a Major

The premise that the choice of major amounts to choosing a career path rests on the faulty notion that the major is important for its content, and that the acquisition of that content is valuable to employers. But information is fairly easy to acquire and what is acquired in 2015 will be obsolete by 2020. What employers want are basic but difficult-to-acquire skills. When they ask students about their majors, it is usually not because they want to assess the applicants’ mastery of the content, but rather because they want to know if the students can talk about what they learned. They care about a potential employee’s abilities: writing, researching, quantitative, and analytical skills.

  1. As students flock to the two or three majors they see as good investments, professors who teach in those majors are overburdened, and the majors themselves become more formulaic and less individualized.
  2. Often it is the art historians and anthropology majors, for example, who, having marshaled the abilities of perspective, breadth, creativity, and analysis, have moved a company or project or vision forward.
  3. Furthermore, the link between education and earnings is notoriously fraught, with cause and effect often difficult to disentangle.
  4. A vocational approach to education eviscerates precisely the qualities that are most valuable about it: intellectual curiosity, creativity and critical thinking.

    • Correct Answer
      Choice D

    Detailed Solution

    The main idea of the paragraph is that choosing a major is not critical to building a career as it is not content of study that is valuable to employers. The paragraph then describes what is valuable to employers.

    Option A- This discusses how overcrowding a few majors seen as good investments makes the majors formulaic and less individualized. This is a new, related idea. It does not complete the given paragraph.

    Option B- The given paragraph is discussing what is considered “valuable” about college education by employers. Option B, which states that those who have majored in art history and anthropology may have the skills and vision to move a company or project forward, does not carry forward the idea of what is considered valuable by employers. Hence this option is also ruled out.

    Option C- The link between education and earnings is not discussed in the paragraph given. It is a new idea.

    Option D- This states that a job-oriented approach to education takes away from it the qualities of curiosity, creativity and critical thinking, that are, in fact, the most valuable products of education. It carries forward the main idea of the paragraph that it is not the choice of the major that determines a career and is valuable to employers but skills in writing, researching, reasoning, creativity and analysis.

    Correct Answer: Choice (d)

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