Really, most people don’t. What goes on in college classrooms and dorms and faculty offices matters to very few Americans.
What goes on does matter to makers and shapers of opinion and to politicians.
When college graduates can’t find jobs in their degree fields, commenters and politicians start making noise. And when politicians make noise, few good things happen.
During the great unemployment period that has or has not lessened over the last two years, stories abound about of out of work college graduates. Those degrees in comparative religions/women’s studies, psychiatry, anthropology meant little, other than proof of sitting in classrooms for four years.
For a time, there were lots of whiners, now former students complaining they had been shortchanged, misled, lied to by college guidance counselors.
Degrees that showed ability to do things were what was needed, but too many people went in to feel-good areas.
Much of the whining comes from this: 60 percent of college students are women, and women are more likely to focus on feel-good courses, areas in which “I can help people. I can make a difference.” Men are more likely to look at “Things I can do,” because men fix things.
Jane S. Shaw says here http://www.popecenter.org/commentaries/article.html?id=2959
“It is hard to find a legitimate justification for women's studies.”