Re: An open letter to P.S.C.
Wow, this is an interesting and emotionally laden letter. It covers many issues which new university graduates face when they finish uni.
I am not going to write on behalf of the P.S.C. for it has enough highly intelligent people there to defend its wage/salary structures and why it is different to many other departments, or perceived to be the case.
I am also not going to write on behalf of the N.U.S. about its pricing policies for its different courses for the N.U.S. is again full of highly qualified individuals.
My only claim to knowing anything about academia is one term of economics at a local training institute.
Part of your letter concerns the cost of an I.T. and commerce degrees in comparison to other degrees. Who determines the cost of these degrees? Is the course fee related to the likelihood of getting a highly paid job afterwards?
If that is the case, then the demand for these courses would be high and therefore the fees would be higher (the price mechanism to bring demand in line with the supply of lecturers). It sounds like this is your understanding from your relatives taking these courses. But, is that how N.U.S. decides on its course fees? I don’t know.
Once your relatives graduate from the N.U.S., they enter the labour market and all degrees are, in theory, valued at exactly the same price. I know the P.S.C. has a certain salary structure for the different degrees but that is based on its perception of each degrees’ worth in the labour market.
What determines whether a commerce degree is valued higher than an Arts degree? The simple answer is supply and demand.
If the demand for general arts degrees is higher relative to supply (in comparison to the commerce or I.T. degrees), then the salary commanded by arts degrees graduates would be higher. Does it sound unfair? It does but that is how the labour market works.
Generally though, there is a shortage of I.T. and commerce graduates compared to the vacancies available for people with these special skills so your relatives should be able to have good salaries. The labour market doesn’t always function perfectly though.
Can I pass on this piece of fortuitous advice, which I got from an old lady at the makeki. In the work force you can’t sit back and expect things to come to you. You have to go out and look for job opportunities.
Your relatives’ only motivation and loyalty should be to themselves and their pay packets. Don’t worry about fa’a aiga or whatever. If you work hard enough and be clever in taking opportunities, then the job rewards should come soon enough.
Who cares about job satisfaction? That is the myth perpetuated by those who sit comfortably on good salaries and working conditions.