… subsidizing a graduate degree in “costume-making” at UNC-Chapel Hill, to the tune of $50,000 or more per graduate. And almost all of those graduates have to leave the state to find work in their field.
There seems to be no end to the list of careers that were learned on the job just a few years ago but now require degrees. One of the most mind-boggling developments in this vein is the explosion of degrees in costuming-making for theatre and films. At one time it was the province of people who began as ordinary tailors and seamstresses and served apprenticeships, or perhaps were aspiring actors and actresses who, out of necessity, discovered that their real talent was with the needle and thread. Today, at least seven of the fifteen universities in the University of North Carolina system have costume-related programs—including several at the graduate level. Jesse Saffron provides a sensible analysis of the program at UNC-Chapel Hill here.
It almost seems a degradation of the true purpose of college to have graduate degrees in making costumes for the theatre. What’s next—a merger with Ringling Brothers Clown College?

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