For years, university administrators, corporations, and government agencies have been predicting an imminent and cata...

Anna on November 5, 2018

Help please

I am unsure how the answer C is correct. Any help is very appreciated!

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Jacob-R on December 27, 2018

Hi @Anna

I’m happy to help. As always, let’s start with the question stem. We are looking for the answer that, if true, would most strengthen the argument.

In order to find that, we need to understand the argument. So what is the passage saying? We learn that a bunch of entities have, for years, been predicting an imminent and catastrophic shortage of scientists of engineers. But, (and notice the contrasting word “but”) since there is little noticeable upward pressure on the salaries for these professions, and unemployment is the same in these fields, we get a conclusion: the doomsayers are wrong.

Before we look for a strengthening answer, can we describe what might be a flaw in that argument? What if an imminent and catastrophic shortage of scientists and engineers was totally unrelated to salaries and unemployment rates? That is, what if despite stable salaries and low unemployment, there were no new scientists and engineers in the pipeline, and thus the catastrophe really was imminent?

Answer C helps strengthen that flaw: we assume that it is true that the number of students in science and engineering in university has gone up significantly in the last 5 years. That helps suggest that the doomsayers really are wrong, because it adds support for our other indicators!

I hope that helps. Please let us know if you have further questions.