Monday, May 21st, 2012,
(PROVIDENCE, RI) —A new national survey has unearthed stunning results, finding that for young Americans yearning for nothing more than to tend bar for the rest of their lives, a moderate to expensive bachelor’s degree from a U.S. university is crucial for the endeavor.
Researchers from Brown University released the findings in their formal quinquennial report on the state of contemporary U.S. college life and post-graduate experience. The study’s release comes during spring graduation season, as millions of students walk across stages, grip their degrees, and head out to face the world, eventually finding themselves facing red-eyed customers from behind a bar, asking if they’d like to have another.
Liberal arts degrees ranked most popular among the 2,400 bartenders the university surveyed across the country, with English Literature and Communications reaping a stunning 97-percent success rate at landing their graduates positions slaving away behind bars.
Among other things, BU’s 200-page report, “U.S. Higher Education in 2012: Trends, Costs and Benefits,” details the jobs college graduates have found over the last five years. And according to the research’s director, Dr. Benjamin Smorgensen, their findings should raise hopes for future bartenders everywhere. “There’s certainly little room for error regarding our findings,” said Smorgensen to reporters Friday. “If you’re graduating from high school and want to be a bartender for the vast remainder of your days, then you’re going to need that college degree, and at least costing forty-thousand dollars or more. Go for it!”
“People say the job market is dismal and dried up for college grads today,” BU’s research assistant Christen Dovslosky said Friday, “but that is hardly what our study found. After spending 50-grand on a degree, and graduating thousands of dollars in debt, our nation’s college grads can certainly look forward to plenty of jobs…at a Chevy’s, or Applebee’s, or TGI Fridays, or non-chain restaurants and bars everywhere. There’s no shortage of the opportunities awaiting America’s college grads. The sky’s the limit, really.”
Former University of Maryland history major Christopher Hull, 26, claims his current bartending job at the Cut-Throat Bar & Grill in East Baltimore could not have been possible had he and his parents not paid $52,000 for his degree four years ago. Hull still remains $28,000 in debt.
Said Hull from behind the bar during a pre-happy hour lull Friday, “Honestly, I couldn’t imagine being here if it hadn’t had been for my college experience. Just last night we had a stabbing out in the parking lot, and I got to chase out a couple of hookers last week, then cleaned up someone’s puke in the bathroom, then in the men’s bathroom. … And made all of 620 bucks last week, too!”
“Really,” added Hull, pausing to kill a cockroach scuttling across his bar, “I knew my (University of) Maryland degree would lead to great things, but never did I imagine it would be this great. No way.”
Hull said he hoped to work to one day tending bar at a chain restaurant, like Baltimore’s Hard Rock Café, then move out of his parents’ house.
Universities across the country are turning out bartenders faster than ever, according to the Brown University study, a fact University of Michigan Provost Philip J. Hanlon holds as a badge of honor for his school and America’s higher education system in general. Said Hanlon to Duh Progressive Monday, “Our biology majors, education majors, sociology, communications, philosophy, journalism, architecture, poli-sci…you name it; our students are making the best bartenders this nation has ever had. And I’m proud to say that University of Michigan’s graduates are the best beer pourers, mixers, and servers of them all!”
Nation’s Colleges Debate Whose Students Make Better Bartenders
Hanlon’s claim of the superiority of UM future bartending students is not going unchallenged, however, among the U.S.’s community colleges and particularly growing on-line universities. In a scathing written retort to Hanlon’s claims, published in the Los Angeles Times Monday, President Bill Pepicello of the University of Phoenix, the nation’s largest provider of on-line degrees and courses, declared:
“The supremacy of the bartenders the University of Phoenix’s produces has been beyond dispute for the last ten years. The University of Phoenix promises its students the best education at the most affordable price, for anything and everything having absolutely nothing to do with bartending. And we are proud to say that 94% of our students have graduated to become bartenders, and 81% of those former students, from 2002 to this day remain bartenders, with no hope of ever doing anything else. …The facts speak for themselves: if you want to be a great bartender for life, apply today at the University of Phoenix, where world is your oyster!”
—William Pepicello, Ph.D.,
President, University of Phoenix
The Brown University study and the growing spat among U.S. colleges it is causing was weighed in on by 28-year-old Virginia Tech graduate Trisha Dietz Sunday. Standing at her station at Hooters in Roanoke, VA, Saturday, Dietz paused to marvel at the bar she tends and the patrons she has served since her 2007 graduation. “How could I have not gotten where I am now without that degree in Greco-Roman philosophy?” said a solemn Dietz, taking in all that her hard work and parents’ money had led her. Dietz said she went into VT in 2002 hoping to teach Greco-Roman philosophy and how it relates to contemporary domestic politics. “But this scene in Roanoke here, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”
Taking a break from behind the bar, Dietz proudly showed Duh Progressive her Virginia Tech logo she had tattooed on the small of her back when she graduated, upon which Duh Progressive promptly asked Dietz’s for her phone number. “Just earlier tonight I mentioned Marcus Aurelius’ theory on individual versus cosmic decision making to my Mexican barback, Manuel, and he was like, ‘Como? Que de fuck tu hablas?’ …Well, what can I say? Just more proof of the value of that degree.”
Succumbing to emotion, Dietz then choked up, consumed with pride. “Things could have gone in the opposite direction for me,” said Dietz, wiping away tears. “I could always be writing political satire and doing stand-up comedy. Jesus, how depressing would that be?”