What students are the biggest slackers?
A report released on Thursday by the National Survey for Student Engagement suggests that business majors may have earned that title.
In the survey, which polled college students at hundreds of colleges and universities earlier this year, concluded that business majors and social science majors spend the least amount of time studying. The typical business student devoted 14 hours a week to homework versus 19 hours for engineering students, who were the hardest workers. Frankly, it is hard to be impressed with the average number of hours spent studying among any of the following groups, which are clustered by majors:
Weekly time spent studying
- Business majors 14 hours
- Social sciences 14 hours
- Education 15 hours
- Arts & humanities 17 hours
- Biological sciences 17 hours
- Physical sciences 18 hours
- Engineering 19 hours
While social sciences majors also spent an average of 14 hours a week on homework, a slightly greater percentage of them (23%) studied more than 20 hours a week. Just 19% of business majors studied that hard.
Seniors spending more than 20 hrs. a week on homework
- Business 19%
- Social sciences 23%
- Education 26%
- Arts & humanities 31%
- Biological sciences 36%
- Engineering 42%
Are College Students Learning Much?
Earlier this year a couple of academics released blockbuster research, which was turned into a book, Academically Adrift, that concluded that business majors learned the least in college. Specifically, the business majors performed the poorest on national exams that tested the college students’ writing and reasoning skills. Does anybody else find it ironic that despite the poor showing, business is the most popular major? Twenty one percent of undergrads earn a bachelor’s degree.
Academically Adrift concluded that 45% of college sophomores did not show any significant improvement in writing or critical reading and thinking after two years years in college and that the same thing could be said for 36% of college graduates!
One reason for these dismal numbers is because too many professors have low expectations for their students. And certainly those lowered expectations only encourage student not to study enough. According to Academically Adrift, more than a third of students spent less than five hours a week on homework and the average was just nine hours! That’s beyond depressing.
I just texted my son, a college sophomore, to ask how much he studies and haven’t heard back. He told me this week that he’s ready to declare his majors and that he intends to double major in math and art while minoring in physics. It’s hard to imagine selecting more work intensive majors.
Read More on The College Solution:
Expecting More Out of College Students
8 Reasons Not to Get a Business Degree
Why Look Down on a Business Degree
Lynn O’Shaughnessy is the author of The College Solution and Shrinking the Cost of College, a financial workbook. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.