Before you fork over that hefty university tuition, would you like to know the salary it will buy you when you're done?
A new education White Paper in Britain will require universities to put their degrees to the dollar test - by releasing statistics to perspective students on their chances of getting a job and what they'll earn. (In other words, how quickly they can expect to pay of those huge student loans.)
It's being coined the "naming and shaming" of degrees that employers don't value, according to the Telegraph, and it's intended to prevent students from spending years on campus only to wind up serving lattes.
The universities will have to disclose detailed information about employment and earning outcomes, as well as publish the credentials of its most successful graduates. The statistics will also help students understand the job value of a science degree at one university compared to another.
"There are some courses that are far better at preparing young people for the world of work than others," David Willetts, the British universities minister told the BBC. "At the moment, the student finds it very hard to get that information."
The paper is part of a package of reforms toward creating more competition between universities.
In Canada, universities get graded on class size and student satisfaction - as opposed to actual salary outcomes - though as a new guide for job seekers, Statistics Canada is starting a new survey that will identify job vacancies in the country. And the British approach comes at a time when the usefulness of a liberal arts degree is increasingly questioned.
While parents paying the bills may like to know the odds of their student receiving a good pay cheque at graduation, critics have suggested that a market-driven system may affect the quality of the higher education by making it more focused on job outcomes than learning.
Of course, anyone with a 30-something living in their basement might disagree.
How important should salary outcomes in deciding which degrees a student pursues?