I had to struggle to get the context right while I was reading this book. He explicitly targets the liberal arts, and I was trying to apply his statements to engineering, and disagreeing with them. I get what Caplan is trying to say at an intellectual level. The amount of analysis that he’s done is amazing, and it’s instructive to see how different factors can be included and different impacts can be measured. There is a lot of unnecessary fluff in the U.S. curriculum, and in India, one could easily apply this logic to even regular engineering and other courses.
Ironically, things may change in India precisely because the education system is so bad! See my other posts on hiring and interviewing, and what TCS is (hopefully) doing right now.