Related to yesterdays post, I have previously tried to explain the concept of marginal return and why, because of the already overwhelming flow of educated minorities going into social services fields, the hard sciences may be the place to make the biggest impact – if that is your end goal.
Second, it is inefficient. Minorities in education, in community outreach, and in most other nonprofits are literally “a dime a dozen”. Another minority, because of diminishing returns, is not likely to make much of a difference. Factor in the effectivity of community outreach (very low) and the contributions that minorities in education add, and you are looking at near insignificant levels of added value.
Contrast that to the number of minorities in the for profit fields like engineering, chemistry, and technology. They are a scarcity and companies are thirsty for more. In short, you are likely to do more good for yourself and for the community as one additional engineer than as one additional member of a community outreach program.
This argument escaped some of my friends, they simply didn’t understand it. On my bicycle ride to work this morning, while listening to a bloggingheads discussion on genes, a related point was made. Except that instead of social workers and engineers, it was doctors vs engineers, and how an additional engineer may make more of a difference than an additional doctor. Well, being a big supporter of outsourcing, I will let them explain what I tried to explain before:
The full bloggingheads discussion can be found here.