March 23, 2012 at 4:56 pm #1949
We have become a society of specialists and we know how to do within very narrow parameters, usually defined by our “job”. But is that being truly educated? Earning money to buy a car, earning money to have someone else fix the car, earning money to buy the fuel are all things we do without thinking. We have gotten so specialized that an individual cannot build a car, cannot fix a computer type car and has not the slightest concept of how to make gasolinel
The common denominator is “earning money”. But what do you have left if you cannot earn money. Can you knit a sock, make a shoe, darn a hole in material. In most cases we have become uneducated in life skills while becoming educated in earning money. Which of the two is the sane methodology.April 9, 2012 at 1:29 am #2491
like to direct you to an article
be careful how much debt you get into as jobs that pay more than not entering university just aren’t there.
University may eventually pay off but not in the short term which is where the student loans really hurtApril 30, 2012 at 1:48 pm #2907
I don’t think it’s either. True education is the ability to learn and the ability to perfect. One of the very serious issues I have been arguing against in the US for decades has been the trend to treat college education as a sort of vocational school, and therefore the most important topics (the humanities) are reserved only for those who want to go into law (and maybe eventually politics). This is dangerous.
My degree is in general studies, with an emphasis on History, sorta. Professionally I am a software engineer and developer in the open source world. Hobby-wise I am trying to turn my small town lot into a permacultural garden (I figure I have less than 10% of it converted so far). I estimate right now it produces maybe 800 lbs of food a year (mostly fruit) but that is slowly developing. Both these areas are greatly helped by my college studies. I can learn anything. I can pursue perfection at anything. I can question what I am told at anything. Critical thinking is thus a very underrated skill.
In order to do these, I have taught myself (largely) a great deal of botany, ecology (though I studied some of this in college), computer programming, software engineering, financial accounting, marketing, etc.
I think that one of the great challenges ahead is to foster ways of developing critical thinking in our children and young adults that doesn’t require going so deeply into debt. Such individuals are far better prepared to carve economic niches out for themselves than individuals who go through the education system expecting it to be preparing them for a job.April 30, 2012 at 2:16 pm #2909
The general problem here is Gatekeeping.
In the society we have now, for the most part you cannot get into the high paid “professions” without a Sheepskin, moreover the RIGHT Sheepskin from the right Universities. Going to Harvard Biz Skule puts you in the right milieu to apply for the jobs that pay big time and you “connect” up with the “right” people this way. The same MBA with the same course of study at Podunk University does NOT connect you up in the same way, despite the fact you might be a whole lot smarter than the Harvard grad in this field of study.
The world to come is likely to be different, but for students NOW who are preparing for their lives to come, it is something of a crapshoot as to how fast it will all come apart here. It would seem likely that a degree from Harvard Law School would still offer the graduate a ticket to a high paying job for the immediate future. Can you get IN to Harvard law School though, and if you do get in can you AFFORD it? Even with the Guaranteed Student Loans?
For the Law Degrees from “lesser” institutions, the costs are similar to Harvard, but the potential rewards quite a bit less generally speaking. so I think you have to do a Cost-Benefit analysis here.
My general take on this is that if you cannot cut the mustard to get into an Elite Institution, its probably not worth spending the money for a official Sheepskin on anything these days. You can teach yourself just about anything if you are motivated to do so and have decent native smarts. There are many things you need to learn, and most of them are not taught in the curriculum offered by most universities, nor do you make the connections necessary to get inside the highly paid “Elite” jobs.
For most folks, College these days is just a warehousing and a delay mechanism just like High School. The main difference is that you have to go into DEBT to go to college, whereas up through HS your education is picked up on the Public Dime.
Bottom line here? I wouldn’t go to College these days unless it was an Ivy League one and I was trying to insinuate myself into the ranks of Illuminati apparatchiks. The rest of them are a waste of time and money mostly, and you’ll do better educating yourself than spending 4 years drinking beer and banging coeds.
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