I don't know if you've noticed this, but it seems there's some sort of disconnect between what goes on in the heads of academics and what is actually going on in the world. The latest instance to be added to this ignominious case-file is that of the MSM program here at Notre Dame. Just last year our directorship became a triümvirate with the addition of two new professors from parts Eastward. (We snagged 'em from the Ivy league. Somewhere in there is a G&S patter-aria to be written.) Anywho, these two came in with big plans for our sacred music program, the major 'improvement' to be made regarding which is the addition of many many more conductors. (Plans are for a sufficient number of student-conductors such that they can form their own choir to perform recitals. As it is, currently they rely on the goodwill of organists to supplement their choirs.) This is a colossal mistake. There are no church music jobs for conductors who are not also organists; with one exception, none of our present conductors is an organist. We have supervised church music placements, both on campus and in nearby churches, and the glut of conductors is threatening to overwhelm the available positions, which historically have been reserved for organists (y'know, the folks who can actually do the job). If this discourages organists from applying to the program, the problem will only be exacerbated. A Masters in Sacred Music from Notre Dame, at this rate, will become a vanity degree, for it certainly will not be useful for any extant jobs. None of this seems to bother the New Powers that Be.
This example, surely representative of all sorts of idiocy in college programs, raises several important questions. Chief among them is this: is a degree meant to be useful? I don't mean to say that a proper education is not a great boon to a mind, to a community, and to society as a whole. But can we, in good conscience, train students for jobs that aren't there? How many degrees in underwater basket-weaving shall we hand out before we realize that we've got enough baskets already?