" Although African-Americans are more likely to go to college than in the past, they are overrepresented in majors that lead to lower-paying careers, according to a new report by Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce that examined their share of bachelor's degrees in 137 detailed majors." - Anne Louie Sussman, The Wall Street Journal, February 9, 2016. Here is the article.
So much for the best planning of affirmative action. The reality is that family background and economic/social class frequently override the well-meaning efforts of policy makers, guidance counselors, and even psychotherapists. The clustering of African-Americans in fields that pay peanuts and usually carry little prestige is a phenomenon familiar to many first-generation college students.
My father was a manual worker on the railroad. My mother was among the cleaning personnel at my high school. What did they know about steering me away from the humanities to studying business? All my earnestness about academics turned out to be a joke - on me. So many of my fellow first-generation classmates wound up, like the African-Americans, in the helping professions - at the bottom of the food chain. They were the social worker, not the psychiatrist.
Clearly, in high school, from the get-go, there has to be more guidance about the brutal realities of being part of The Professional Class. Income, security, power, influence, status, and prestige have to be brought out in the open. I could have been directed to the goal of becoming the publisher, not the content-provider in media.
Unless the family has pedigree, most of us are clueless about how to "become somebody." Usually, it's better to be a somebody versus a nobody.