Although the number of undergraduates studying engineering : GMAT Critical Reasoning (CR)
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# Although the number of undergraduates studying engineering

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06 Apr 2004, 05:38
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Although the number of undergraduates studying engineering has grown greatly over the last five years, there may be a shortage of engineering teachers in the near future because the number of people receiving PhDs in engineering, those most likely to teach, has not been increasing. This results because the high salaries offered to engineers without advanced degrees reduce the incentive to pursue postgraduate studies. Therefore, businesses will have to recognize that their long-term interests would best be served by reducing salaries for those without advanced degrees.

Which of the followiing, if true, would most weaken the above argument?

A) Enrolment in the sciences has grown over the last five years.
B) Fewer than half of the people who have received PhDs in engineering teach full-time.
D) The increases in engineering enrolment are due to the high salaries paid by businesses.
E) Many university programmes are funded by businesses interested in engineering research.
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06 Apr 2004, 06:03
C for me. Although PhD salaries are not increasing, they are high enough not to have to reduce the salaries of undergrad engineering students. C weakens the argument

A and E are out of scope
B can be refuted because if fewer people teach full-time engineering programs, it shows a disinterest to obtain a higher degree. People could be teaching part-time because it is more lucrative to do other things thus it strengthens the argument
D can also be refuted because if enrollments in the program are due to high salaries paid and that salaries for undergrad students are too high, then there is a point to reduce those salaries as the conclusion says. D strengthens the argument
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06 Apr 2004, 06:14
Between D and C C is better
If businesses are paying high salaries for engineers with advanced degrees then why will those people join a universities as teachers. Even if the salaries for engineers without advanced degrees is reduced the students will pursue PHds and not join university faculty,

If the answer is D I will be really upset

The argument is talking about receiving PHDs in engineering. D looks like an assumption but it is not. Author is not cribing about the increasing enrolement in engineering. He/she likes that but says the students just finish the graduation and do not pursue PHds.
So D has nothing to say but just add another premise to Author's argument.
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06 Apr 2004, 07:44
I am going for D although C is a very close contender....

D says that The Engineering enrolment has been increasing MAINLY because the businesses are paying well for them. If they do not pay them well..Then there will NOT be any UNDERGRADS in the FIRST place..FORGET PHD's.....Students would go for a different field....
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06 Apr 2004, 08:01
My reason for choosing D is the same as Monarc's...I second Monarc's explanation.

Vivek.
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06 Apr 2004, 08:12
I'm choosing D.

Conclusion: Reduce the salaries for the Undergraduate Engineers.
Reason: If not, the Undergraduates may not have an incentive to
pursue higher education such as PHD; this reason will
cause shortage of teachers.

Anaswer C: Companies pay high salaries to Post graduates.
So what? Is it going to bring in more teacher? may be or May not be

Answer D: Higer demand is the reason for higher salaries.
Can one go against the basic suppy-demand machanism?
No sensible business will do so. They are not
going to reduce the salaries.

Thus, answer D weaken the argument.

Well, again fingers crossed.

Last edited by kpadma on 06 Apr 2004, 08:23, edited 1 time in total.
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06 Apr 2004, 08:13
I still stand by C.
Conclusion is: "there may be a shortage of engineering teachers in the near future because the number of people receiving PhDs in engineering, those most likely to teach, has not been increasing"
What we are trying to do is weaken the above conclusion. Only C says that the "increase" is not the issue because PhD's salaries are already high
D merely restate the argument in the excerpt:
"This results because the high salaries offered to engineers without advanced degrees reduce the incentive to pursue postgraduate studies"
Compare the above to D and it is an exact restatement and provides nothing to weaken the argument
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06 Apr 2004, 08:38
D is the answer and monarc has the best explanation.

This was an LSAT question.
If businesses went with the recommendation, fewer students will enrol in undergraduate engineering courses since the increases were due to higher salaries paid by businesses. In the long run, businesses will suffer from this because it might lead to a shortage of good applicants because even though some applicants may eventually take on PhD's, the pool of undergraduates they'll be teaching will be smaller.

A is irrelevant.

B does not weaken the argument. It helps the premise.

C does not impact the argument. The high salaries would probably tempt people with advanced degrees away from teaching but it doesn't solve the problem of increasing engineering teachers. Even if those without advanced degrees were to go get one, they would probably do so in order to later join the businesses.

E does not impact the argument. It may have helped if research programmes made generous awards to potential students but this is not mentioned.
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06 Apr 2004, 08:45
Paul,

The main conclusion is:

"Therefore, businesses will have to recognize that their long-term interests would best be served by reducing salaries for those without advanced degrees. "

This is one of those question types that have an intermediate conclusion and a main conclusion.
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06 Apr 2004, 08:51
Nice one I will have to review this problem outside of the work context and give it some more thoughts . Those LSAT questions are definitely challenging
Keep it up Ndidi204!
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06 Apr 2004, 09:09
monarc wrote:
I am going for D although C is a very close contender....

D says that The Engineering enrolment has been increasing MAINLY because the businesses are paying well for them. If they do not pay them well..Then there will NOT be any UNDERGRADS in the FIRST place..FORGET PHD's.....Students would go for a different field....

This explanation was the best!
06 Apr 2004, 09:09
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