"The president has set a national goal to have the highest proportion of college-educated adults in the world by 2020, and it’s one of the four guiding goals of the economic-stimulus package’s education grants."
The above quote was taken from the link below.
http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2010/ … a.h30.html
I cannot imagine why there are so many people who think that being college educated is going to make a change to anything.
One can learn everything one needs to know (with the exception of a few professional skills like doctor, attorney, accountant, scientist) by the time one leaves school.
Up until the 60s, we were all very well educated at school. When I attended a community college in the States, virtually everything I learnt I was taught was a repetition of stuff I had learnt between the ages of 6 and 16 at school. I do not recall learning a single new thing.
People used to leave school at 16 and go to Nursing school. By the time they were 19, they had studied for three years and were qualified nurses. After matriculating (high school), one could go to teachers training college for three years.
One could leave school at 14 or 15 and go to trade school By the time one was 18, one was qualified at a trade. People earned a good living from this.
People in Germany still do. Only 10% of Germans go to university, yet the population as a whole are highly educated.
4 years of additional university is a waste of time and money. it doesn't teach people to be better citizens and it doesn't give them better skills at work. 85% of students attaining university degrees never use those degrees.
I can't imagine why there is this adulation of college educated people. I'm not. And I can assure you I can converse with ease at Ph.D level - and always have.
Until the U.S. drops this ridiculous and self-destructive practice of Political Correctness, which includes the delusion that you can spare the rod and NOT spoil the child but mostly includes pretending kids are okay to move to the next grade when they are not, we are screwed.
If a kid fails in school, it is the parents' fault. Not the school's.
It does NOT "take a village." It takes good parenting. Period. Every time I hear someone utter that ridiculous village thing I want to puke. Socialized parenting works exactly as well as socialized industry.
I think because the demand for jobs exceeds the supply of it that is why the people need to have college degrees so that they have a much bigger chance of employment even for a job which doesn't require specialization. The oldest unis are erected in Europe for what they only serve as a venue for "masturbation of the mind" - just plain philosophizing about nature and towards art/humanities and not so much about practical side of getting skills. Technology and modernization demand for a higher education
Yes, it is a result of there being very few jobs. The irony is that people who do not have skills do not have something to sell.
Let me give you examples of that.
My daughter does not have a degree in fashion, but she did a few courses, and yes, she is very talented.
She is currently teaching people to sew, drawing fashion figures for people, has been commissioned to do designs, etc. She has the skills - not the degree. She is getting nice money too.
However, because she had this skill, she could put an ad on craigslist and offer her skills. That is how it started.
The point is that many go to university and come away with no skills. Having one course in Chicano history, another course in statistics, a third course in basic German, etc. does not give one the expertise to be able to find a job with it - or to work for oneself.
When one has a trade, e.g. able to fix up cars, one can advertise and use those skills to earn a living.
It is absolutely impossible to do that with most degrees. For most degrees, one remains an employee for the rest of one's life because very few of the courses actually teach one viable commercial skills.
So, basically what your saying is your daughter is an entrepreneur, and the other example you gave of auto mechanic is a trade skill. Hmmmm...sounds familiar. You should re-title your thread:
You do NOT need a College Education If YOU Want to Become an Entrepreneur or Learn a Trade.....
Ediggity, that's not quite fair. Those are just two examples of people who are making a living without a college education. What about farmers? Artisans? Writers? Teachers? Did you know that Laura Ingalls Wilder taught school without a college education? She was not a trades-person or an entrepreneur. And using the "entrepreneur" label for anyone who starts his own business is misleading. Entrepreneur implies you have to be able to collect sizable amounts of capital from other investors, which is not what most independently employed people do.
If it needs to be re-labeled, the thread should be called: You do not need a College Education, unless you want one just for the sake of knowledge, or you're going for a government or corporate job, or a job in a profession that the government regulates to keep people without a college degree from practicing in that field.
Yes, there are certain cases, but this exception won't hold true for the majority:
Farmers: I would equate to a trade. There are also many specific farming education programs provided by FFA and other similar organizations. Additionally, you don't really hear about much of the youth striving to become farmers. I would argue that it's more of a family trade, or regional pursuit.
Artisans: A trade, in fact that's basically what an artisan is, a trade worker.
Writers: I would classify under entrepreneur; however, there are numerous opportunities to approach writing through college.
Teachers: As far as I know the majority need some sort of degree to teach.
I wasn't implying that one only needs to start a business to become an entrepreneur. I also consider the members of HP who use Hubs as their source of income entrepreneurs.
"government or corporate job, or a job in a profession that the government regulates to keep people without a college degree from practicing in that field."
Is your job in one of these fields?
My job? I don't have a job. I am an independent ape language researcher. Nobody employs me, and quite frankly, while I work very hard, I am not earning a living this way. I live off retirement income.
It's wrong to conflate all self-employed people with entrepreneurs. That's part of the outlook that says only "special people" can earn a living on their own. Actually, most people can do that, if they offer something of value to others.
In my case, earning a J.D. and passing the Texas bar did not earn me a job, so for nine years I practiced law out of my house. It was a very difficult way of life and not worth the tuition for law school.
Earning a Ph.D. in linguistics also did not get me a job in the US, but I was paid a stipend in grad school, so there was no monetary loss for me from the experience. It did get me full employment for three years in Taiwan.
I think my case shows that you can be academically able but not have other skills that would help to turn this ability into a decent livelihood.
I agree on all points. I wasn't trying to infer that getting a degree is the golden ticket. Like I stated earlier, the degree is only a small step toward proving your worth to the employer.
@Aya, yes. And that is the point of this post. Obama actually wants people to be educated in order to increase employment. He thinks that if more people are educated in the States, then they will increase the job market.
However, it's not 'education' that's lacking. It's skills. And one doesn't need to go to university to gain skills!
I also have a degree that I don't use. It is singularly lacking in skills with little worth in the market place unless I go back and study for another 5 or 7 years and pass masses of other examinations to enter the 'profession'. Not willing to spend one more ounce of my life in a classroom!
You know what I think the problem is, you can have all of the experience and skill in the world and be really good at whatever it is that you do but when you try looking for a job the job postings usually say Bachelor Degree required. They dont care what the degree is for. The person with that paper will get the job over the person with the experience and skill. That sucks big time. I know because this has happened to me many times. I have been passed over for someone with no experience, someone they will have to spend money on training.
I would love to get a job I am proud of having and getting without this kind of hassle.
You certainly wouldn't choose college if your only goal was knowledge.
The pursuit of knowledge is a life long avocation. The small percentage you might gain in a formal setting is trifling compared to what you will learn on your own.
PcUnix, I agree. Only I wouldn't call the pursuit of knowledge an "avocation", because that sounds like a hobby. I would call it a vocation, whether or not one earns any money doing it, because it is a calling.
There are exceptions to this - if you have a burning interest in particle physics, then realistically the only route to becoming a particle physicist is to go to university/do a PhD/get a research position at CERN or wherever.
But yeah, if your "burning interest" is in - say - history, literature, politics or philosophy, then you can easily do it without going to college. Especially now we've got the Internet.
specialization requires the pursuit of deeper understanding and in depth knowledge in which the venue is the tertiary education. The specialization of labor requires rigid training in one skill and some needs theoretical understanding while other specialization requires practical know how.
It is within the capitalist structure that college and universities as business entities thrive. More specialization, more profits etc..This follows because of what Emile Durkheim stipulated in the "division of labor" theory.
The Government better get these kids to learn basic arithmetic first. No country has less kids prepared for the global economy then us.Our school system now discourages competiveness and rewards mediocrity.With initiatives like pass or fail and badges for participation. All in the name of fairness. Newsflash , life is not fair. And your boss expects more then your attendance at work. Oue educators are doing our kids a diservice. And you can thank Jimmy Carter and the Dept of Education for this. But hey at least the kids can text fast !
Well, it's amazing how many people on this thread don't get that!
tony0724 you are absolutely right. I think the kids in the U.S. also need to learn how to speak proper English instead of that ebonics or computer language they write and text to each other now. It drives me crazy to see how they communicate.
What happened to spelling things correctly? I had my niece write "howz u duin'?" to me instead of writing "How are you doing?" What the hell is that?. Its just nonsense. Alot of these kids really don't care to take their education seriously.
SOPHIA, LET ME START BY TELLING YOU THAT I ENJOY READING YOUR ARTICLE IS EDUCATING AND ASIDE THAT I ALSO SUBSCRIBE TO WHAT YOU JUST SAID. ONE DONNOT ACTUALLY NEED A COLLEDGE DEGREE TO SUCCEED IN THE REAL LIFE. THOUGH I DONNOT DISCOURAGE PEOPLE WHO ARE WILLING AND CAN AFFORD IT. KEEP IT STRONG ITS FINE.
I'm just figuring what the chances are that you are someone else, and just joined up specifically to say this to me anonymously.
However, if that is not the case, then there is a difference between an education and a qualification.
An education is obtained throughout life through persistent informal study. A qualification is obtained in order to be able to earn a living.
When the debt incurred in order to gain a qualification is so vast that one spends the rest of one's life paying it off, and furthermore, education gets confused with qualification, then things begin a downward spiral.
The point of my initial post was that 'educating' 25% of the population was not necessary in order to get this country going again. And I think that the confusion is that many are confusing qualification for work with education for life.
A trophy for everyone, it's only fair after all, isn't it? You don't make enough money, take it from the rich and give it to the poor! Why not do the same with education, just award everyone a college degree just for trying! Viola! Problem solved under simple marxist principles of Obama!
Without that piece of paper called a diploma, you can kiss most of the good-paying jobs out there goodbye. In the company I spent almost 20 years with, you couldn't even get a job as an administrative assistant or receptionist without a Bachelor's Degree, and most of those jobs even preferred a Master's.
It's not about what you learn at college -- it's about what doors it will open for you.
Yes, I understand that.
And that's what is so screwy...
They've got the cart before the horse.
I agree that they've taken the concept a bit too far, but I don't think it's a screwy concept at all.
There is something to be said for a young adult to want something that much that they are willing to put in the time and the effort to get it. If they can make it through the four years without getting tossed out or flunking out, so much the better. It proves that they understand what is expected of them and they can execute it.
And in this day and age, financing college is no small feat. Those kids that actually thought ahead and applied themselves in high school and took the time to seek out grants and apply for scholarships show a whole different set of traits that I would certainly want in my employees.
Or what about the young adults that sought out entry-level jobs in companies that had tuition reimbursement? Shows a whole lot of planning and dedication there too.
If it were my company, I would definitely seek out college graduates, but not necessarily for the book education they received. Would I make exceptions? Certainly, but not very often.
If you look at my initial post, I say that there are exceptions - for the jobs that require them - like attorneys, doctors, mathematicians, etc.
It's ironic that you say that you would employ a college graduate, not for the book education they received, but for the time they put in. The most successful men in the world, with very few exceptions, flunked out of college early, e.g. Bill Gates, Richard Branson, etc.
I did see that in your OP, Sophia. But the college requirement these days is not limited to doctors, lawyers, etc. Like I said, in the company I worked for, you had to have a Bachelor's at minimum to become a secretary or receptionist, and most of those folks were studying for their Master's.
Take a look at the availability of jobs out there. Employers can pick and choose who they want out of hundreds or thousands of applicants for each and every job. Most of the time, they're going for the college grads.
Agreed on the tenure of the "most successful." Problem is, I doubt folks like that would be applying for a job in my company. Besides, most jobs don't need a Bill Gates or Richard Branson personality. They need worker-bees -- people who can follow the rules and get things done on time and within budget, and play well in the sandbox with the other children.
@Irohner. I agree that this is what is happening now.
That is not I am writing about.
What I am writing about is that the K12 education is less than useless and that things accomplished by universities today were better accomplished by ordinary schools 50 years ago. I know because virtually everybody I know from those days is highly educated whether they finished school at the end of 12 years or went on to University to study. I am stating that it's daft to expect people to go to school for 21 years just to accomplish the most basic of tasks.
Do you know that in India they educated illiterate women to become civil engineers?
I so agree. A college degree ismainly necessary because our American culture requires it for so many jobs, not because it is actually needed to do those jobs. We should be able to learn the basics by the time we graduate high school and be able to pursue independent lifelong learning and participate in on the job training thereafter.
Obviously, you do not understand the basic driving force behind the US economy.
In order to obtain a college education - you must go heavily in to debt. This debt is unlike any other debt in that it can NEVER be written off - EVER. You cannot go into bankruptcy to avoid this debt. There are special laws written that protect this debt.
You are then "rewarded" with the ability to spend a good proportion of your working life repaying this debt by being offered a higher salary by the "system" which needs you to be indebted in the first place. Thus college graduates will always be paid more than their "uneducated" brethren and it will always be "better" to have a degree.
The higher the debt burden of any profession, the higher the rewards in later life. This is why doctors are paid more than physiotherapists.
You do not need to be a member of Mensa to understand this.
Yes, because America is the only country in debt.
Ediggity, America is not the only one in debt. But it's not a competition!
When responding to an argument about the American economy, comparisons with other economies are beside the point. Do you think what Mark said about educational loans is true or not? Address that.
No, I think it's irrelevant, because you don't need to go "heavily in debt" to receive a college education. I also think it's digressing from the original topic of the thread by arm chair quarter backing the American Economy from another country.
Umm, debt is what the vast majority of college educated Americans do to fund their education, based on what I read and heard so far. Do you have any serious stats to disprove it?
I didn't say it isn't, I said "you don't need to"
Umm, I don't really understand what you are trying to say here, sorry.
I'm saying there are many ways to receive a college education, and going into debt is only one of the many ways to achieve that. It's a choice. If you went into debt, you chose to do it. There's no point in passing blame on "the system" or "the man" People should take responsibility for their choices. Many people do, and many people don't, again I digress... ok enough about that. I will reiterate that you do need a college education unless you ant to become a trade worker or entrepreneur.
As far as I understand, in most cases the choice is between getting an education and getting into debt, or not getting into debt and not getting the education. Considering the brainwashing teens receive from parents, school, and society at large about the necessity of college education in their future life, this is not a real choice, sorry.
Well if that's how you see it then passing that knowledge to youth is only contributing to the problem. There are many programs, grants, scholarships etc. available to offset the cost of a college education. They are not going to show up at the door step, and some aren't easy to get, but they are out there. Or, one could just rely on the old, I'll just charge it, and worry about it later.
You certainly may have a point here, I am not really familiar with those programs.
Here's one of the many places to start:
Dear me. I never said any such thing.
But - the USA has and does use the education system to place a substantial debt burden on it's citizenry - and this debt burden is legally protected like no other debt burden.
In the UK, we are only just starting to use that tool - we have used public health care, property prices combined with cheap loans and more recently speed cameras to achieve similar debt burdens. As the US is now adopting public health care - we are creating a loan system similar to yours.
In France they tend to do this with confusing inheritance taxes and "living taxes," because free education is a "right."
All roads lead to Rome it would seem.
I know you never "said any such thing." I did. All roads do lead to Rome, but in America it's your choice on how you travel that road. So for the travelers nut up, or shut up.
Sorry you did not understand in that case. Yes - your choice. Want to drive your car to work because that is the only sensible way to get there? No sweat - your choice to buy gas at $3.50 a gallon.
The fact is - the system will adapt if enough people "choose" not to go into debt - as with the health care. You think it is coincidence that it is being introduced just as a substantial portion of the masses "chose" not to buy it ?
Next up will be "free" college education - same as "free" health-care. I suggest you avail yourself at the earliest opportunity.
BTW I believe USSR had the highest percentage of college educated population in the World. Yet another indication of where the USA is heading to.
Wouldn't surprise me. Proof that communism was working. Look at all those college degrees.
No. I was explaining why college education is sold the way it is, and why college graduates are paid more than "uneducated," people. To increase the debt burden of Americans. And other methods are used. The fact that you do not understand is beside the point. You can always ask me next time instead of just attacking what I say. There is no shame in asking when you do not understand things.
I wasn't attacking you Mark. Why do you always think someone is out to get you? I understood what you were trying to say, and I still think it's irrelevant. I wasn't trying to make you feel attacked.
As I said - there is no shame in asking when you do not understand something. Clearly you did not understand what I said or you would not have made the comments you have done. Oh well.
I happen to agree with your stance on education. However, here in the states, where is the outrage regarding tuition? Why aren't congressmen screaming? I do believe a "Free" college education is where we are currently headed. I also believe it will be worthless and not really free. People in the US seem intent on divorcing themselves from the cost of certain items. Healtcare and Education are the two largest.
Outrage? Congressmen screaming? Dear me - not when levying taxes are concerned. They only scream about hot button issues that do not threaten their gravy train like abortion and gay matrriage.
So they feel like a tax on it is not possible. Therefore leave it alone/ignore it. Let the issue reach a boiling point and then rescue it by installing Universal University? In the mean time keep the nation divided with abortion and gay marriage....I see. It's kinda what I think as well.
You sort of missed my point.
Tell every one they must have a college education and drum this in by encouraging employers to pay based on that .
Ensure that large amounts of debt must be incurred to get their education.
Protect that debt legally.
Check out the laws - you try walking away from a student loan.
When breaking point is reached and not enough people are going into hock to get the degree, an outrage will ensue from the politicians claiming how "unfair" it is that so many Americans cannot afford an education.
"Free education" will be forced through - to be paid for by the taxpayer. In the interested of fairness.
I'm not disagreeing with you (far from it), but who will actually benefit from all this?
Taxes, once it's universal it will be taxed heavily. I'm sure we will all be promised that education dollars will be kept separate from other tax dollars. In the end it will be pillaged just like Social Security.
In the US it appears that the government manipulates social behavior via taxes. Taxes keep people working. If you could amass enough wealth too quickly you would have lots of drop outs from the rat race(tax roles). That would leave the government too many mouths to feed and no way to feed them. The IRS is the US's greatest social experiment. Each experiment that fails results in the government raising the stakes, rather than changing course.
People employed by colleges and universities, and people involved in lending the money. For every piece of legislation in the "public interest" there are special interest groups who lobby for it.
ok, so you see it as part of the plan. Let cost run away. I get it. But the end is the same. We both see government coming to the rescue. A crisis of their own creation.
True, but when the diploma doesn't mean what it used to mean, eventually employers recognize it. A HS diploma used to come with a certain set of expectations: you could read, write and do at least algebra and geometry. Now it means you attended at least 65% of the time, got D's in your classes (which can even be continuation school classes now ... talk about doing NOTHING for something). A high school diploma no longer tells an employer anything. It is absolutely worthless.
College degrees are going the same way. The new wave of Diploma's for Sale schools and all the Online universities have emptied the value from what a B.A./B.S./M.A./M.B.A etc. used to mean. Even the state schools are in decline as they are inundated with applicants from the aforementioned low-standard highschools, and, being tax funded, have pressure to accept students who would never have made it in forty years ago. Actual four year universities are teaching remdedial math and reading. It's like... REALLY?
Worse, the curriculum is all about social acceptance and kissy-kissy love thy neighbor stuff rather than hard science, hard math, deep reading of hard texts and complex philosophy.
Yes, I noticed that. I am sad to say that I have seldom met so many uneducated people in my life - and that includes some of the professors.
Of course. I understand that. However, the solution is not to keep extending years in school. The solution is to fix up junior school and senior school. There also has to be a sense of reality. People are NOT born with equal ability. However, most people are born with more than sufficient ability to learn a good skill and earn their living from it.
One doesn't have to be a genius to survive in this world. One simply needs to understand and know how to earn a living. And that piece of knowledge is being sorely kept from the vast majority.
I totally agree. In the US we have adopted the principal of socialized eductation without applying the practice. The local school district here has the ridiculous motto "Every Child, Every Day, College Bound" WHAT A WASTE!
What is socialized education? I haven't heard the term before.
public education. America would have NEVER allowed socialized education
I'm still lost.
In every country I have lived at in the world, education is publicly funded.
Socialized education is where "everyone learns equally" and you do lots of group work, and the smart/quick kids whose parents make them do their homework every night are supposed to raise up (carry the grade of the group) the kids whose parents aren't helping them, and are up partying and acting the ass every night.
And, since it would be nice if we could do something for the kids of the morons, but we can't because the only way to really help those kids is to take them away from their idiot parents, and we would never do that. So, we won't really help them, but we can't actually help them if we don't, so instead we just pretend like we can help them by giving them free breakfast (which they throw away by the way because kids who live in that type of environment don't eat apples and whole wheat toast, so that stuff is in the garbage can ... go look at your local school if you don't believe me) and letting the smart kids pass the group test for them.
THAT is socialized education. It doesn't matter who pays for it. It would be just as stupid if it was privately funded, but you are right, it is publically funded. No private enterprise would tolerate such idiocy.
That is really dumb. I came across it when I went to college here. I'm accustomed to straight As and I prefer to do my own work. All of a sudden I have to work in a a group. And if one person doesn't do their bit, the rest of the group suffers. There's a group grade. And if I tried to talk to the professors about it, they just told me that I could drop out of the class. I often sensed glee over there - as if it shouldn't be that easy for anyone to obtain straight As.
When I was teaching I hated making people do group work. Admittedly some students did benefit from it but there were at least as many who, like you, preferred studying on their own. I also prefer studying on my own and loathe the idea of group assignments where the brightest and hardest working "carry" the lazy b******s.
group work can be helpful in learning how to work together as a team, which is important with some jobs and careers where team projects and collaboration are part of the business culture.
I totaly dissagree. In my opinion, group work is a joke. Group work in a classroom does not in any way resemble the the work force.
In a work place group, there is a Team Leader of some sort. That person is authorized by the chain of command to make final decisions. Everyone knows it, whether they like it or not. Their is a singular goal, that of the company and the specific mission. Period.
It is part of an all day job, not a 3 hour a week class amongst many.
Furthermore, everyone in the group knows that if they don't do their part, they will NOT get paid, NOT keep their job and NOT pay their mortgage.
Nobody in that work place group is in that group because their mommy and daddy paid their tuition, and nobody in that group can afford to "just let the others carry them."
In addition, when you go to college, YOU pay your tuition. YOU did. It was YOUR money spent on YOUR education. Nobody in that group gives ONE crap about your grade, and they did not contribute in any way to your tuition. Why should they be allowed to affect your grade. To let some idiot have an impact on the product (education) you paid for is nonsensical, especially given the total lack of anything remotely "real world" that embodies a group in a school setting.
It's all part of the kissy-kissy thing (which I will just define as having to do with feeling good about yourself and each other, and appealing to funding mechanisms that require alignment with currently popular social philosophies--as guided by the people who gain from them and sell the textbooks etc.)
Yes, after I came to the States, I investigated why this country put such a premium on working together in a group. I discovered that Big Business demanded it because they were losing staff because people just coudln't work together.
So, now, independence of thought has been lost because everybody is working together. Can't put two decent thoughts together. Don't have an ounce of initiative. Can't elect decent politicians.
Even the research is now showing that Big Business is concerned because all these people work together so well now that they haven't an ounce of initiative between them.
I'm still confused. Every country I've lived in has had its education paid for by taxes. It's the norm throughout the world.
In many of those countries, education is outstanding. It's not the fact that it is paid for by government that is the issue.
It's the social expectations by the people. When everybody demands to be 'equal' in status, there's a big problem. People are equal before the law, not equal in status, and they will never be equal in status. No education system can compensate for the fact that people are born with different abilities.
Tell that to the designers of the course I was once sent on when I worked in adult education. The ideology du jour was that nobody is "born" a maths genius - everyone could be taught maths, if only you could find out what their learning style was and what their goals were.
I don't work in teaching any longer.
I know a good few people who were born geniuses. And sorry, their parents did not teach them or were even interested in them. Intelligence is genetic. However, it's politically incorrect to say that. So you can't say that.
Ok, publicly funded. It's confusing. Here we go. In France, in Germany will every child go to college? NO. Will every child even qualify to apply for college? NO. In the US nearly EVERY child will. It leads to massive waste.
Yes, that is perfectly correct. Yet the Germans and French - without college - are often better educated than Americans with College.
The irony is that in the attempt to "widen participation" in higher education, it's actually become much harder for someone with a good brain but a low income to get a place at a decent uni.
Here in Britain the government wants to raise tuition fees - the main reason for this (I assume) is that such a high percentage of school leavers are now going to university that it's impossible to subsidise them all.
In the early 80s only the brightest 5% or so got a place at university, so anyone who needed funding had no problem obtaining it.
I have to say I agree with the OP - I just don't understand why the powers that be think it's so important for everyone to go into higher education. What benefit does someone with a just-higher-than-average IQ get from spending three years getting into debt studying a Mickey Mouse degree? Maybe the gov. just wants to massage the unemployment figures? Or (more of a conspiracy theory approach here) do they want to make sure that everyone winds up in debt so that they're less likely to buck the system?
I think there are several factors at play here:
Social pressure from wannabes who think that if they go to university they are going to make a lot of money. That used to be like that 30 or 40 years ago, but is no longer the case. There are people with MBAs waiting on tables.
Social pressure from those who feel ostracized for one reason or another (and they are) feeling that they need to be 'more equal'. This feeds into political sentiment and encourages political involvement.
Colleges and universities wanting more money from the State so that they can pay teachers and have more money for themselves (e.g. higher salaries, etc.)
However, none of the reasons have anything to do with better training people so that they can either have a skill that allows them to support themselves or work for someone else at a decent wage.
What I don't get is how Obama can not know that. Perhaps, he thinks that the education level at Harvard is the same offered elsewhere?
I guess it's all capitalism's fault
Seriously, I am really puzzled by your personality Sophia - we share so many thoughts including this one about education, how come we are so gravely opposite on the capitalism/socialism thingy?
Misha, I understand that. it's not that we are that different. It's that I'm using words that have a different meaning in the US. The word, 'socialism' has a different meaning in International English to what it has in American English.
Also, many people disagree with my initial statements. However, after they've studied the reasoning behind it, they tend to accept what I have to say and agree with it.
Unhappily, it's not always easy to voice something in three words or less. And I don't want to write reams - which I have a habit of doing...
Please Sophia, I am not an American either, in fact I spent most of the first 40 years of my life in the flagship hardcore socialist country, the USSR.
You seem to be a very reasonable person in everything - until it comes to socialism and/or rich. Then you loose me completely. You are talking most of this thread about the dangers of over-pushing equality - but isn't equality the motto of socialism, across the globe? Isn't the failure of American education system the result of socialistic approach to it?
Get rid of public schools, let the market do its job and reward the schools that teach better with higher demand and therefore ability to set higher prices and buy better teaching materials and pay teachers better - and pretty fast the status of a school graduate will change.
Misha, that's got to do with our definition of socialism. What you're referring to as socialism, Europeans refer to as communism.
Socialism, in terms of the European (not Russian) definition, has absolutely nothing to do with making people equal. It has to do with taxes paying either completely for SOME services that are common to everybody like education and the military of subsidizing them like bus fares, etc.
Every single country I have ever lived in has had socialistic policies, including the United States.
When the States pays for 12 years of schooling, that is socialism. When the state pays for pensions, that is socialism. When the state pays for medicare for pensioners, that is socialism. When the state pays the wages of military and looks after the army, that is socialism.
As my initial thread asked: Why is it that Americans see communism and socialism as the same thing when in the rest of the world they are two completely different things, not even closely related?
I finally figured it out It is because the old USSR was called the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics!!!!
America was much closer to the cold war than the rest of us were. So, the inclusion of the word 'Socialist' in the name of the country you come from, is why people associate socialism with communism here.
With regard to the super rich, I have no objection to some people earning more money than others. I happen to have come from a fairly wealthy home so I'm not anti-wealth. However, there is a vast difference between the environment I grew up in 50 years ago to the one that there is now.
In order to understand that environment, you need to read the works of Robert Reich, the past secretary of labor for the USA. Also, I am not the only one with this opinion. Many, many have arrived at the same conclusion that I have. I see before me the same conditions developing that brought your home country and France to their knees. Remember that Mother Russia killed its Czar because the bulk of the people were incredibly poor and they resented the super wealth of the very rich. I see that happening here within the next 20 years.
Also, there will be wars waged in the next decade as a result of food shortages. This is not something I dreamt up. This is the evaluation of the Pentagon.
I do agree that this country is heading into some quite turbulent times. I can't say I agree on your reasoning behind it though, neither I completely agree to your reasoning behind French and Russian revolutions - though what you mention certainly did play its role. I also think you (and possibly most Europeans and - surprise! - Americans) might benefit from opening a dictionary and reading the definitions of socialism, capitalism, and communism. Reading Marx's manifest - it is just one page - does not hurt either
And please, eurosocialists praise themselves on equality. Scandinavian countries are proud that their professors earn just a couple of times more than their cleaners do - it is exactly how it was in the USSR. The difference seems to be that Russians were "early adopters" - or may be too stubborn - and therefore needed to be forced into the system, and Europeans and Americans crept there slowly and much more peacefully. Still, when you rape the human nature and spew on natural laws you eventually reap the same rewards - utter failure. USSR was the first. Iceland is already there, too. The rest of Europe and the USA are on the way...
Misha, this isn't 'my' reasoning. This is classical history which I learnt at school more than half a century ago. For the record, I'm South African and have lived in Europe (I share German nationality) and in the USA. That's a pretty broad base of political systems I've lived under. And I find the best to be what was called in the 60s, 'enlightened socialism'.
I do not like dog-eat-dog capitalism or libertarianism. I think they have the same outcome as communism.
I'm am NOT interested in equality because I don't think, and never have thought that people are equal or can be equal. I am talking about equality before the law. That is something completely different. I'm not sure if your English is sophisticated enough to understand what I am saying because you keep misunderstanding what I am saying.
When I feel an urge to get personal on somebody, it usually means they managed to touch on one of my "cognitive dissonance" things. You just got personal on me over socialism at least second time in the last several days. May be the "classical history" that you learnt at school 50 years ago needs some revision, based on your life experience since then?
Misha, again, I've totally missed you. I have no comprehension of what you mean by getting personal. I merely note that when you respond to me you are responding in a way that indicates to me that you missed the point of what I was saying. That's because you didn't respond to the point I was making but came back with something that was either not related or distantly related.
In any event, can you please explain to me what you mean by 'getting personal?" I'm very lost. I haven't responded to you any differently to the way that I have responded to anybody else.
Sure, here it is getting personal:
if you were really concerned with my understanding, as a polite person you would have said something along the lines: "I guess I did not manage to explain myself good enough. Let me think about it and try again later"
And here is why it is not about my not sophisticated enough English, but about you saying opposite things on the same thread:
To spell it out. The first quote comes from the history course you learnt long ago. The second quote comes from your life experience. The first talks about wealth equality/inequality (not equality/inequality before the law!) being the reason for revolutions, and you state you share these views - therefore you think this kind of inequality is bad. The second quote denies this however and states you do not care about any equality but before the law. They contradict each other, don't you see? And you believe both. Such a situation is called cognitive dissonance.
Now, on some level of your consciousness you know these believes are incompatible, but you don't want/don't have time/energy to reconcile them. Me touching on this point makes you angry, cause you are not ready to reconcile your believes just yet, and I am pushing you. In order to continue masking this dissonance from yourself, you blame my English and claim I did not understand what you said. I did understand though
We all have myriads of those in our minds, thanks to government/religion sponsored education that indoctrinates us from the very early age with a BS that contradicts our life experience. I am no exception, too - though I am actively working on eradicating my very own cognitive dissonances.
Misha, you obviously don't comprehend that there is a vast difference inequality of person and inequality before the law. In order for you to say that these two statements contradict each other, you either do not understand English or you are completely ignorant as to the concepts behind each of them. Ask someone.
Being direct is not being impolite. Many cultures, including the one I come from (South African) are very direct.
With regard to learning from history and life experience, I also learn books and people. None of these are mutually exclusive. So, no, I am not contradicting myself.
And please don't project your psychological state on to me. I truly am way beyond that.
It irritates me deeply whenever someone says everybody should go to college to "be somebody".
It seems academic education is for everyone else rather than for the student. It's for the companies to hire you, it's for the country to look good, anything but learning and knowledge, let alone wisdom on how to apply that knowledge other than to make money.
but it gets people in the door. then decisions are made. without that degree, many businesses have zero interest.
university tuitions are not attainable for many families.
especially now when it's harder than ever to get a loan.
high schools need to integrate more professional and trade related curriculums. and teach students how to think and reason. actually that's primarily the parents responsibility, but that's another topic..
in what context? I don't really see that.
in what context? I don't really see that.
"Fifteen-year-old students in the U.S. performed average in reading and science, and below average in math. The U.S. ranked 14th in reading, 17th in science and 25th in math.
"This is an absolute wake-up call for America," U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan told the Associated Press. "The results are extraordinarily challenging to us and we have to deal with the brutal truth. We have to get much more serious about investing in education."
- I believe I have even seen TV commercials recently that showcased this study.
Whatever we are doing in our schools, its not good enough.
It's not that it's not "good enough". It's completely WRONG!
Yes, I know. My daughter and I came here from England. We couldn't believe the poor level of College education...
I'm from England and I don't think we Brits have anything to be complacent about - far from it.
Yes, I know. I stayed in London before I came here, but if you can imagine it, this is far worse.
I think it's a trend that has taken hold in many countries, particularly those countries where equality of one sort or another was been sort by a larger part of populace.
It is unbelieveable to think that there is a poorer education system out there to our own. The UK's education system has degraded into a farse. I am surprised that anything gets learned at all.
yes, this I do see, I was referring to the kissy kissy stuff.
believe me, I've met enough parents to realize that a college diploma does not guarantee intelligence.
Well when American businesses created 1.4 million jobs over seas and not in America because the population of other countries is going to college in larger numbers than us, that should tell us something. So we can think what we want.
They are manufacturing jobs. They require technical skills not professional. The reason jobs leave the US is because of cost, not the education of labor force.
Well, I'm a HS drop out myself. In fact my 16th birthday was on a Thursday and I did not even stay until Friday!
Now, the reason I dropped out was NOT because I was dumb. I actually was bored to death as I read every textbook from cover to cover in like 3 weeks.
I honestly, truly saw nothing more I could learn there. Or at least not anything I thought I could learn by myself faster and better.
Now here I am today, doing better than ever, working totally at home for myself and earning more each year.
I learned every single thing by myself, with no schooling past 10th grade. I have never regretted dropping out, ever.
So not everyone benefits from school. For me it would have been a waste of life, which frankly is how I see most schooling.
But to each his/her own.
Thank you, Bill. I agree. It's what a friend of my says. Those that achieve at university, don't achieve because they went to university. They would have achieved anyway. One can achieve just as much by not going to university. Learning is something that one either likes to do or doesn't like to do.
As I think you know, I am also an autodidact and a HS dropout.
Most of what I know, I learned on my own. Some of it I REALLY learned on my own - I had the basics of trigonometry worked out before I had ever heard of it.
I hated school. Every boring, stupid minute of it.
I believe in the current climate a college education is necessary. However, I believe employers should offer more chance at apprenticeship for those who are not academically inclined. Many high schools here give kids the chance to learn a trade by doing co-op work.
I dropped out of high school, but I got my equivalency and went to college a couple of years later to get a decent job. I dropped out basically because of boredom also. But even in my trade with a college diploma, you also need a BA to get in the door these days.
@Uninvited Writer. I understand that as a result of poor school education, y business has the perception that unless one has a college education, one cannot read or write.
However, 95% of 4 year graduates cannot write a grammatical sentence as per some Californian Research 18 months ago. In addition, I have met Ph.Ds in this country that are semi-illiterate.
The perception by business is not only wrong. It is damaging.
The answer isn't to push everybody through to College until everybody has a doctorate that they obtained at the age of 30 and then are stuck with 30 years of debt and they still can't find a job.
The answer is to fix up K12 education.
You know what really scares me? It's that some bright spark will look at all the unemployed graduates out there, and will say "why don't we pass a law requiring that all job vacancies in certain categories be filled by graduates?"
Goodbye freedom of opportunity and social mobility, hello caste system.
See, I don't think that's the perception at all. In my experience, it's more about whether people are willing to work to get what they want.
- If I want to buy a car, I have to make enough money to pay for it.
- If I want to knit a sweater, I have to learn how to knit.
- If I want a decent-paying job in corporate America, I have to get a college degree.
The problem is that not all "work" is productive. Yes, I realize people "work" to earn their degrees. They pay money for the degree, and they do whatever it takes to meet the conditions under which the degree will be awarded. But the degree itself is worthless, unless the graduate learns something in the process. Right now you can get a degree without learning anything. If you did have to learn something to get the degree, then not everyone could get one. Not all of the money or the effort in the world would be enough. It would be a selective process.
Is a degree necessary in order to get a corporate job? I doubt it. If you had a skill that is very sought after, the skill would trump the degree. People who look to get an edge by earning a degree are people who hope to compete in the job market with less than exceptional skills. What's more important, is it sufficient to get a job? No. Lots of people with degrees don't have jobs and some have never gotten a job despite very fine academic credentials.
I totally disagree -- unless you are related to or know someone in higher up management, or your skill is so unique that they couldn't possibly find someone else. In this type of marketplace, you can't even get your resume past the HR mail clerk without a college degree -- particularly if you're a young adult just starting out.
Our education system does need an overhaul -- I won't disagree with that. And I don't believe people without that degree necessarily know less or aren't as smart or anything like that. They just may not have all of the doors open to them that a college grad has.
Today, as part of researching my hub on Drupal, I happened to look at job listings for Drupal developers. The employers were looking for people who were experienced with Drupal, but nowhere did they say they needed a college education.
Now I have a B.A., a J.D. and a Ph.D., but no experience with Drupal. Who do you think they would hire, me or someone who had experience with Drupal and knew what they were doing? Where in all that does the college degree help? If they had a choice of a top notch Drupal developer who was a high school drop-out or a college graduate who was only so-so, who would they hire? Who would you hire, if you had a job you needed done?
With all my degrees, I was never once hired for a job in the U.S. But anyone who has learned a trade can either practice it on his own or hire himself out.
Drupal is not the kind of software corporations use. Try to get a job supporting IIS without at least bachelors in computer science and MCSE, this will be a better test.
I think you are talking two very different parts of the job market ladies, I've been to both, and in my experience Lisa is quite correct about big corps/government, and Aya is quite correct about small businesses
Hi, Misha! I'll defer to your expertise on this one. But I think part of the issue is this: what kind of economy do you want to be part of? One dominated by the government and the very big corporations that are its stooges, or one in which everyone aspires to be independent or, if not, then at least to work for a small, friendly business venture owned by a few other people?
Hi Aya Believe it or not, in my experience the vast majority of people - not only in the USA - perceive a corporate/government job as more secure...
You mean "perceived," right? No one in corporate America that I know feels an ounce of security these days.
LOL I see where you are coming from Lisa, though my wife works in the World Bank, and she still feels quite secure. My best friend's wife works for government, and she still feels secure, too
Blimey, how does the World Bank sit with your personal anarcho-capitalistic viewpoint? Bit of a conflict of interests there surely??
Don't answer that one if you'd rather not!
Oh, I am not avoiding any questions. The harder they are, the better they help to alleviate cognitive dissonances. I personally left the bank (or any job for hire for that matter) five years ago, so there is no conflict here at all. My wife, while much younger than me, is old enough to make her own choices. And I love her regardless of her choices.
People are a scared bunch, and feeling being a part of a powerful entity brings some peace of mind. Pretty much the basis for patriotism, too.
I don't think it's like patriotism. It's actually possible to love your country even if it is small and powerless, just because you love it, the same way you love your family.
But, you've got a point, Misha, that preferring a government job or large corporate employer has more to do with fear than anything else. Since they can loot other businesses, they will be the last to fall. Still, it's not looking all that safe at the moment.
Oops, sorry I missed it Aya. We are certainly talking different kinds of patriotism here, though even the smallest and the weakest country is still immeasurably more powerful than an individual which works for somebody.
It does not look that safe to me either, and I am pushing my wife to quit her job while she is still able to get ample benefits. I seriously doubt she can later, when she will be forced to quit...
I've worked for every type of organisation - large corporate, government, small independent and myself. I definitely prefer the last two, even though I was earning far more when I was working in the first two.
Generally experience trumps education every time, although education and a degree is the best combination.
Looking back now I wish I had gone to university for the experience, it is something that would not be the same if I went back as a 26 year old.
But it would be a little weird going out drinking and partying with all the young 18 year olds.
You can actually try to learn something instead of partying
of course, it doesn't 'resemble' it, but if done effectively, it teaches participants how to engage in discussion, work through thought processes as to why something will or won't work, consider outcomes of different methods used, etc.
there are businesses now which won't hire based on one's ability to work together in a team setting. if a student has never been required to participate in group settings, they may not have the initiative or confidence to speak up and be heard.
I guess it's how we look at it. If someone in the workplace does not know how to work together with fellow employees, they're not going to have a job for long.
there are various factors that contribute to someones inability to think independently, starting at home. I think it's a combination of factors that make for 'non-thinkers', not simply group settings.
look at some of the 24/7 media outlets..
I don't disagree with the premise that one doesn't need a college education to achieve success, but I do think someone must have enough motivation and self-determination to educate themselves in order to make their own success. Many don't have that, so they sit and become satisfied with their mediocre existence, or fall by the wayside.
as you mentioned earlier very well,
off now to do some errands. Happy New Year to all.
A college degree never hurt anyone. In my opinion, one should get as much education as possible, for a long as possible, and never stop learning. But study what you love for your own satisfaction and personal enrichment. It's not just about getting the degree, or what doors it will open. College is also a place for personal growth and self-discovery. My college degree contributed very little to how I actually make my living, but I'm not sorry for having had the college experience.
That's fine in a rich country that can afford that. That is no longer the case. It is now a luxury that few can afford.
In terms of education, the best education is reading and traveling. Teaches one far more than any college education ever can.
I disagree. There are many things you can read, and not understand if you don't have someone to teach it to you. Especially different subjects in math and science.
Earlier you were talking about education being different from job skills. Generally, the only reason people will do math is to be part of a job. So math is not the issue here.
Since when did Math and Science not become part of formal education? Math, Science, History, and English/Literature are the foundation for the majority of many degrees, so this definitely has to do with education. Additionally, I think you're confusing the American version of trade school. Trade school in America teaches one a trade like welding, security, dental technician etc.. People who receive a college education still want a job even though they didn't only focus on one specific blue collar working trade.
The degree might not hurt them, but the time wasted getting it certainly can!
I think one definitely needs a college education these days to pursue a career, unless they enter trade work, or become an entrepreneur. Obtaining a diploma is more than just becoming an intellectual equivalent or a receiving a check in the box. It shows employers that prospective employees are dedicated to starting and finishing something, and gives them a good measure of potential value to their organization.
However, the caveat is that the degree and college choice may choose an individuals fate. Don't expect to jump into middle management with a diploma in underwater basket weaving from Keg U. Not to say that there aren't very hard working people without college degrees. In fact, many companies recognize those individuals, and offer an opportunity to further their education. Upon completion newly qualified individuals might even be eligible for "in house" promotions.
The point is that one shouldn't need a college education just to do the most basic tasks and to 'prove' that one isn't a laggard. That kind of stuff is clearly apparent from the beginning of one's school days. People don't change their colors when they go to university.
One may need a university education to get a well paid in the United States but it is the only country in the world where one needs a university education to prove that one can read and write, plus that one is willing to work.
You don't think that there is something wrong with that?
I was published by the time I was 8 or 9 years old, and my English was as good then as it is now. I learnt this stuff at junior school - not at University - as did most of my generation.
I think they should. It is that individual who is trying to prove their worth, not the other way around. How should people be evaluated if not by something like education? Many, many, many people change when they go to college. They come out totally different, and some don't change at all. There are many different professions that require many different skill levels, so unless we get into specific professions it is a moot point.
Ediggity. Going to College in America doesn't prove anything, except to Americans.
If you live outside of America, you will understand how low the quality of education is here. People in many other education systems learn at school what Americans learn at college. It is not the college that is the problem.
One should be learning that stuff during one's first 12 years at school. The exceptions are the professions like law, medicine, science, accounting, etc.
Change is a natural process of growth. One doesn't go to University for personal growth. One goes there in order to learn a job skill. Supposedly.
Normally the majority of people going to college in America who are American want to continue to live and work in America post college. Additionally, I've never met one person who went to college in America who tried to "prove" anything to anyone outside of America. I've lived outside of America many times over the years, and there are many people from other countries who fight tooth and nail to become accepted into the American collegiate education system. I've met very few people trying to leave America to become educated somewhere else, besides study abroad semester classes. Those individuals usually just wanted to check out a different country in Europe for a few months in the summer.
Your right one doesn't need college for personal growth, but it does happen there. In America one does not only go to college in order to learn a "job skill" In America that would be called trade school.
Ediggity, I've been following your discussion with Sophia Angelique. I have to agree with everything you said in this particular post: Americans are not trying to prove anything to anyone outside America. True. Many, many foreigners are fighting tooth and nail to get into the American educational system: true.
But do you know why that is? It's because as bad as the economy is here at present and as many liberties as there are stripped away every day, America is still the place where there is the most freedom and still a good place for people to go from an economic perspective. They're fighting to get into American colleges because they hope to stay in America, and not because of the education.
The truth is that the American educational system is substandard, but a good educational system is not what makes for a strong economy or a country that people long to live in.
I would also add that there are many places to choose from in America to receive that education (As long as you get accepted). Like the majority of everything else in this country, you get what you pay for.
Finishing the formal education is only a small step in the direction of establishing ones corporate worth.
Oddly enough, in higher education you do not necessarily get what you paid for. For instance, in grad school, at Rice University, they paid me to get my Ph.D. At Baylor Law School, I paid them for my J.D. It had nothing to do with the quality of the institution or the education. It had to with the marketplace.
The market place as in receiving a "name brand" diploma? I guess everyone's mileage may vary, and that's why I still think college is more than just a check in the box. It's an experience that develops people.
No, the market place in professions: people pay to become lawyers, but if you want to become a linguist, they will pay you for the time you put in.
As for the experience of going to school, it very much depends on the intellectual quality of your fellow students and of your professors. I found I had more in common with the linguistics grad students, because you could talk to them about linguistics, whereas it was hard to have a laid back theoretical discussion about the law. People crammed for tests, and at parties the students' spouses said: "Let's not talk shop."
That might have been so even a decade ago. Since America went into Iraq, the tide has turned quite a lot...
In fact, the Green Card Lottery, last time I looked, it had increased its time span to two months as per the normal one month. That's because there was such a drop in people wanting to live in the US.
Can I ask you what you think will be gained by putting 25% of students through university? It appears most of them still can't read and write when they come out.
Sophia Angelique, I agree with you that nothing is to be gained by pushing people into higher education who do not want it. I also agree with you that the American educational system is broken, and that high school graduates in many countries are better educated than college graduates in the US.
I just felt, when reading your exchange with Ediggity, that the two of you were speaking at cross-purposes. Your frame of reference was so different that you didn't appreciate each other's points. Americans are oblivious to how outsiders see them, partly thanks to their lack of education but partly because they don't have to care. That's why they are so bad at geography and foreign languages. They are in a position not to need to know these things.
The average European, on the other hand, does need to know these things. So he's better educated, but he has fewer choices.
America's strength came from the fact that anybody could start his own business, regardless of education. So, ultimately I agree with you that it serves no purpose at all to publicly fund and dilute the value of a true education. It won't help anybody. But to get Ediggity to listen, you have to acknowledge the other side of the argument. It's not a competition with those countries where education is great but everyone is poor.
Aya, you have very good points. However, Ediggity keeps getting away from the point of the conversation so it does tend to go off on a tangent...
I'm curious. How much longer do you think these choices are going to last in America?
Getting off point? Your thread is titled You do NOT need a College Education, and I say in America you do unless you enter trade work, or become an entrepreneur. Lastly, I will re-iterate that if you want to get a job it is up to you to prove your worth to that company, and a college diploma will do that whether you think it's right or wrong.
You're right that the choices are narrowing. I see an increase in the level of socialism here as a big part of that narrowing. (Yes, I know, America has been socialist for a long time now-- ever since the New Deal, but it's getting much more so.) For instance, consider the new law requiring everyone to buy health insurance, whether they want it or not. The choice to do without health insurance has been taken away. An institutional employer, like the government or a really big corporation that feeds directly off the government, will provide that insurance for an employee. An independently employed person is not going to be able to afford to purchase it. So more and more people will have to seek institutional employment or get labeled as paupers with all the stigma that attaches to that.
People should be evaluated based on their job related skills, their honesty and their consistency in delivering results as promised.
I think education is extremely valuable. They can take everything you have but they can't take what you know, however when you look at today's economy it's extremely hard for many to get a higher education. Student loans are $880 billion in debt and many are struggling to pay off what they owe winding up in default.
People should tread carefully if they want to get an education where you may be in school for longer than you think only to come out and not find the type of job you were looking for.
Education comes from reading and traveling.
...and hands-on experiences in different fields, learning directly from experts in those fields, being able to ask questions and receiving answers from someone with genuine experience...
The chicken or the egg?
Are people successful because they went to college, or are successful/motivated/ambitious people just more likely to go to college in the first place?
The Progressive hope is that it is the former, and that by sending more and more people to college who would not have gone years ago, it will increase the productivity and intelligence of our society. This is founded on the myth that everyone is the same--and only the environmental factors they experience cause differences. By eliminating differences in one's experience/environment--we can "produce" the same product. Needless to say this is naive.
I am underwhelmed by the modern college curriculum--I graduated from a major University and RARELY went to many, many classes. (Not something to be proud of I know). But it shows that one can get a degree and learn very little besides how to get by on as little effort as possible. Not a good lesson.
People overvalue degrees for several reasons. First regulations stipulate that certain certifications etc. be acquired before practicing many occupations. Further critique is often foregone out of laziness or time constraints due to over-regulation of business. Our education sytstem rewards echoing the teacher and curriculum over comprehensive thinking and reasoning. "Just get the certificate or degree...its all that matters" again. Thus, modern people often fail to develop the ability to evalutae and think critically (necessary in order to judge other's abilities) for themselves--so they depend on others' judgements via certification etc.
As writers I am sure many of you are dumbfounded by the prevelance of virtually illiterate college graduates these days! This is evidence college, especially in its current form, is unable to turn mediocre intellects into the intellectual leaders of tomorrow. If one is curious they will educate themselves with or without the benefits of the deposit of information available to college students today. If one is not curious they will ignore that same available information. This is more true today, where so much knowledge is available through technology. However, one must have the critical thinking skills necessary to navigate through the junk and discover the truth.
College education has become a means to getting stuff rather than a means to becoming educated. The goals are different than they once were both for the average student, as well as the average college. A degree has become a union card which is a prerequisite to many occupations. A college's priority is to place its students into well paying jobs, rather than objectively educate them. Even liberal arts institutions have taken on a trade school mentality--both from above and below.
So NO college is not necessary to a good education, but is necessary for many career tracks.
Let me begin by saying I am a teacher. Having said that I want you to know that I do believe that college truly is wasted on a great many people. A lot of money has been spent trying to fit square pegs into a round holes.
However, education is for everyone. The degree of a persons success, the health of our communities, states and nation is directly related to the quality of our education. Education is not about laggards or time behind a desk. Education is about building a bank of knowledge that will help in the solution of problems and the improvement of our lives. Education is about being the best we can be. I once had a 4th grade student ask we why he had to learn about insects...he was going to be a doctor so he didn't see the need. It did cause me to pause. I remember telling him that learning about a lot of things simply made him a more interesting person. I suppose education has a lot to do with rounding out our personality.
Students are finding, however, that education can come in many forms...online schools are prospering and trade schools are very popular. For many people an apprenticeship is their ticket to a job.
Even though "people don't change their colors when they go to university" I don't think that we should ever disdain the degree or the person that acquired it. For that person it was the right choice. That is what education is all about...giving ourselves choices!
<link snipped, no promotional links>
I attend university and later completed two post-graduate degrees, not to fetch a higher-paying career, but to learn.
There is such a thing as attending school solely for the sake of learning, and there are plenty of those who continue beyond high school for the education. You may not have needed an education, but I wanted one, and that was more than sufficient reason for me to continue with my studies.
Carrie, I admire you for that! I, too, wanted very much to learn in college, in law school, and in grad school. I got my degrees in each case, but the presence of students who were not trying to learn and teachers who were not trying to teach was a big disappointment to me. Aren't you experiencing that, too?
That is the educational system across the board. It is a symptom of a larger sickness which this nation is in danger of succumbing to. Sheer stupidity. That is why we are hated. That is why we were attacked. That is why we are falling. Still time to turn from this path, but not a lot. Strange things are happening. Migratory birds on the coast not acting normally. Weather is strange. Spring here. Oregon coast. Hmmm. No time left for higher ed. RUN! Nevermind. When in Rome....
"That is why we are falling."
Who's failing? If the students who aren't doing the work are failing, then that is on them -- it doesn't affect you either way. If you're failing, then perhaps you should reconsider your scholastic career, particularly if you believe other students are to blame.
And I fail to see how environmental politics has anything to do with higher education.
I found more students who were more interested in the social aspect of college than the educational aspect while completing my BA, but that mentality all but disappeared towards my final year and going into law school. Sure, there were a few students who were there on the expectations of their families, but it didn't disrupt my learning -- to each their own, I managed to make it to the other end with a diploma in one hand and a very solid education. I can't say my professors were disappointing, either -- I never once (knock on wood!) had a professor who were disinterested in teaching.
I'm currently pursuing my PhD, which is predominantly independent study, so there is no potential for that kind of disruption at the moment, anyway.
Not ALL people waste their time getting a 4 year education. For example, I would NEVER have started my business without going through college.
It taught me everything I know about technology, marketing and especially about writing!
"One can learn everything one needs to know (with the exception of a few professional skills like doctor, attorney, accountant, scientist) by the time one leaves school."
Just wondering if you could make a list of SPECIFIC respectable and reasonably high paying jobs/careers that you honestly feel one doesn't need to go to college or University for in order to be successful.
In Canada where I live, there seems to be a bigger difference between college and university. For us, university is where you go to obtain your Bachelor degree (and Masters, PhD) and it is where you can major in subjects like "biology" which is what I did, for example. When I was graduating from high school, university was shoved down our throats and we were made to believe that if we were smart, that we should go to university and if we weren't, then we could just go to college. At the time (and still today but I think it is slowly changing), college had no respect.
College for us here might be more like what trade school is in the USA. After I got my BSc. in Biology and discovered that I couldn't do anything with it, I finally moved on to college where I took a diploma in Medical Laboratory Technology.
I do feel that University is definitely overrated SOMETIMES and for SOME PEOPLE. However, at least where I live, I feel that college is a pretty good value. Most people will simply not be able to learn on their own or on the job what they're able to learn in college or university for that matter.
"One can learn everything one needs to know (with the exception of a few professional skills like doctor, attorney, accountant, scientist) by the time one leaves school."
"Just wondering if you could make a list of SPECIFIC respectable and reasonably high paying jobs/careers that you honestly feel one doesn't need to go to college or University for in order to be successful."
You're confusing learning (which is what Sophia said) with being economically succesful.
Success on the job does not have to mean money and that's not actually what I was referring to. I meant "success" on the job in terms of being good and competent at it. But yes, I was looking for a list of specific and respectable jobs that one can do without going to college or university. Sophia says that doctors, lawyers, accountants and scientists are the exception and I would like to know what they are the exception to and "everything else" doesn't count.
Actually, if we are talking about learning how to do something, rather than getting certified by a government authority so that it is legal for us to do it, then even lawyers, doctors, accountants and scientists do not necessarily need to have a university education. They could be apprenticed to practicing professionals and learn it as a trade. It used to be that lawyers "read for the bar". They could read at home, and then they were tested on what they read. Doctors have to go through a long period of apprenticeship anyway. We could cut out college and med school altogether, if they learned the material on their own. It's not where you learn it that's important. You need to learn it, that's all!
Aya, this is perfectly correct. The only issue with trade schools is the stigma. It's a class thing.
Trade schools were efficient at training people. People became educated through reading and traveling.
Even today, architects don't have to go to University to practice architecture.
This entire thing is just one more bubble!
I highly agree with you there. That was exactly why I dropped out. I already learned what I could and knew I could learn more, faster and have more fun doing it myself.
I really think I learned better on my own. Nothing like screwing things up to learn the best way to do things. All the information to learn whatever you want is out there for free.
@ Purple One.
The issue is NOT what one can do currently or not. The issue is that the System of education is screwed. There is no need to go to university to learn 3/4 of the things. One can learn most of these things on the job. One has more than enough capacity to learn these things with a high school education.
The issue is that standards in high school have fallen to such a degree that companies now employ graduates for jobs that high schoolers could do 40 years ago.
I'm not debating the merits of whether one can find a job or not. I'm debating the merits of the system which is costing billions and is not producing people who are capable of supporting themselves.
I think no one said more in this subject than Sir Ken Robinson:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iG9CE55w … re=channel
I've been wanting to read some of his books, has anyone had the chance?
Generally speaking (from articles I have read in our newspapers) in the England the graduates earn more than the non-graduates over their working life time.
One other factor to consider is - if you do n't get to the interview stage you have no hope of getting the job. That piece of paper is often your ticket to get in the door for the interview.
I will return to read this tomorrow (3am here) and see what the latest line of thought on it is.
The problem isn't the uneducated, it's the lack of understanding of the employer and the establishment that they have latched onto. They now assume that just because someone didn't finish highschool or go to college, that they are not smart enough to do the most simple task, because they are told by people who are attempting to get more people to PAY to go to school, that they are unworthy.
Back in the days of the heavy industry in the United States children worked in the factories, and it wasn't how smart you were but how much strength you had, which is why there were so many people that had high paying factory jobs that could hardly read, and, later the education establishment started seeking them out, with the go back to school and be a better person nonsense, and the get on the educated bandwagon began.
Educational think tanks began preaching to the employer about how an educated work force would lead to better productivity.
And, the employee evaluations began. Job entry level testing, and on site tests started, to keep up the whole education in America idea going. So, people will not only choose to pay to go to college, they will feel that the only way to get a job in this country is to be highly educated..lots of money in college loans and tuition. (And, eventually spring break hotels)
Here is an example of how that is true. Outsourced jobs to Mexico, India, and China. Do you really think that the companies that moved their factories to these countries really care if their employees are educated when they are paying them a buck a day to do same work their so-called educated work force was doing in the United States before they left? They needed to send people there just to translate instructions on how to work the equipment. And, some american companies who are no longer in this country, are working children who are not even old enough to go to high school in the U.S. working for them 24/7 for pennies on the dollar...and we are not smart enough to do the same jobs here? It's because they don't want to hire here.
Go into your local Walmart store and see just how many non english speaking employees there are. It's not about what you know it's about what demographic pool they have chosen to hire from this month. Sure the educated are high on the list, but, look around, and you will find that it really has nothing to do with how smart people are, but, what corporate america needs, and who they are willing to are hire.
Unfortunately, certain members of our society are now expected to be highly educated, while others are allowed to slip through the cracks. Like the company hiring the bosses daughter's new husband into a great job, that he knows nothing about, and you are the lucky one working for the company for 10 years who gets to train him to be your new boss, knowing that he is going to fire you and replace you with someone who will accept less money in their paycheck.
I worked for a company for 15 years. And, I listened in on the whole hiring process. It's aim for the highly educated, with a large percentage of affirmative action, and, what kind of a discount we can get for hiring the handicapped. And, then see how many people with seniority we can get to quit, so we can replace them with 2 people at minimum wage.
Education my ass.
yes, we have our researchers, historians, scientists, marine biologists, physicists, engineers, etc., on and on... a college education is much more than a road to a career.
I have found that generally people who say you don't need a college education usually don't have one or didn't belong there in the first place. It's not for everyone.
RebekahELLE, I'm living proof that that's not true. I got my B.A. with highest honors. I graduated from law school in the top twenty per cent of my class. I got a Ph.D. from Rice University, which is a fairly reputable institution. I really do care about knowledge. I was there to learn, and I am currently working to expand the horizons of human knowledge. But I can tell you this: American employers turned me down every single time.
My experience is that the traits that made me successful academically are precisely the ones that have kept me from being successful in the job market.
So I guess it depends on what you mean: "didn't belong there."
Aya, that's why I used the word 'generally', because I certainly understand there are exceptions to everything, that's why this thread is misleading in the first place with the title.
only you can speak for your experience. I nor anyone else can't tell you that your college education didn't enhance your life. as far as your success in the job market, there could be any number of factors that affect finding the job you want. I don't know your situation. I do know sometimes relocation is necessary. perhaps the right situation hasn't presented itself?
as far as "don't belong there", I simply mean some do not require a college education to move forward in their lives, and then there are those who don't apply themselves and learn nothing valuable and turn around and blame the institution or their parents, and some simply don't have the discipline and smarts to finish what they started. and more, but I don't want to spend more time on this thread. I do wish you the very best!
RebekahELLE, How RIGHT you are! Many people who discredit college are clearly not academically suited for post-secondary education. These are the students to whom college is quite a difficult, even onerous undetaking. These students either drop out or flunk out of college. Those who are successful in college believe in the inherent benefits of a college education.
However I am disgressing. In fact, a person needs more than a mere college education to obtain a high paying job. Sorry folks, a mere baccalaureate degree does not cut it anymore. In fact, such a degree is now equivalent to what a high school diploma was 40 years ago. Now, one needs a graduate degree, a Masters and/or a Ph.D. Degree to obtain high level jobs. There are many clerks, waiters, and service persons with mere Bachelor's Degrees. The statement,"You do NOT need a college education" is pure nonsensical gibberish based upon pure conjecture, not any inductive and deductive logic. You need MORE than a college education in this postmodern society in order to have at least a middle class lifestyle. More likely you NEED a graduate education to be solidly middle class and above.
Great topic! I'm passionate about this one. I agree you do not need a four year degree to be successful in a career; however, I do agree you need some type of vocational training and perhaps some continuing education to stay up-to-date in a chosen career. My example as a father of four and dad to two teen guardians (they're all young adults now). We have a son who is on scholarship to a private university and doing well. He is talented and works extremely hard.
We have another who almost did not graduate high school. He hated doing homework yet he was worried about not going to college. But he is talented, too. He can fix almost anything around the house and is starting his own photography business. It's been a struggle yet he does want to have a career. He wants to go to the local city college to take some basic business courses. He would have benefited from an apprenticeship or hands-on vocational training in high school.
There are many in So Cal like him who can be taught and should be taught in ways other than the traditional structured classroom setting where they simply struggle and while away the hours.
Yes, there is a large percentage of people who are "hands on", "artisan" types for whom school is torture, let alone university. Their particular brand of intelligence is spatial/artistic/entrepreneurial rather than academic. If you're into Myers Briggs at all, they're the SP types.
It's a shame that the education system, the media and politicians don't recognise this.
It is not just SP types. In fact, almost all highly intelligent people suffer in school systems, even if there is a so called "gifted and talented" program in place. Many end up unhappy, some miserably so, and are not successful by any measure.
See http://www.prometheussociety.org/articl … iders.html for more depth.
Wow, interesting article!
Quoting a bit from right at the end:
"It's the exceptionally gifted adult who feels stifled that stands most in need of a high IQ society. The tragedy is that none of the super high IQ societies created thus far have been able to meet those needs, and the reason for this is simple. None of these groups is willing to acknowledge or come to terms with the fact that much of their membership belong to the psychological walking wounded. This alone is enough to explain the constant schisms that develop, the frequent vendettas, and the mediocre level of their publications."
...and another reason for the backbiting/schisms (I would guess) is that high IQ societies don't have a clearly formulated mission, just something along the lines of "let's hang out together and congratulate ourselves on our cleverness". (Although never having belonged to such a society, I can't say for sure.)
If you get a bunch of really clever people working together towards a common cause, such as cracking the Enigma code during WWII, then I imagine that a lot of the backbiting would disappear. Same with any humans, not just hyperclever ones.
I know I've gone off topic a bit, but I just thought I'd put that idea out there
There may have been some clever people working on Enigma, but I suspect not many were among the super bright. As explained in that and other studies, it is very hard for those folks to communicate with the normals or even those we would label as genius. As that quote noted, most of them are 'walking wounded'.
By the way, this is a fun piece that is appropriate in this context: http://www.rawbw.com/~svw/superman.html
Different blessings, but same idea.
Knowledge is golden............we need it. As far as needing a piece of paper to get a job, if that's the reason you're going to school (without the intention of gaining knowledge to excel) then it's almost useless. However, I'm all FOR the college degree. If anything it proves to an employer that one is capable of finalizing and completing goals. In additon, I couldn't get the job I wanted without it. And I understand why. Every bit of information and knowledge I gained in school, which took me 13 years to complete, I've used. All of it. Even the Texas history stuff!
I was almost capable of performing my job before my degree. It takes hands-on experience and life experience. The life experience is what prepared me mostly, but the education pulled it all together so I could use it effectively. I couldn't put together a good progress note or letter or any other report until I went to college and learned to write. Everyone who goes has to take the English Comp classes. It teaches us to be effective.
I NEEDED a college education. But not everyone WANTS it. I wrote about this very thing in my hub Profession and Career Change: Is it for you?
Learning for learning's sake is a good thing and, yes, you don't need to go to school to learn. College was the best thing that happened to me, the liberal arts courses I had to take were my favorites, it was there that I was first told I was a good writer. But you still need to get a job. If money was not an object I would be in university right now.
oh yeah Misha!
very true pcunix, intelligence doesn't guarantee achieving success as you have shared. gifted children/adults often perceive they're better or different than others and have difficulty with relationships and interacting in the classroom/workplace. I've worked with young gifted children who didn't like being smart. often the same principles apply to both the slow learner and the very gifted - learning how to use and apply the abilities they have.
College or school education: they are all the same: USELESS
Here is wisdom from William Wordsworth:
UP! up! my Friend, and quit your books;
Or surely you'll grow double:
Up! up! my Friend, and clear your looks;
Why all this toil and trouble?
The sun, above the mountain's head,
A freshening lustre mellow
Through all the long green fields has spread,
His first sweet evening yellow.
Books! 'tis a dull and endless strife:
Come, hear the woodland linnet, 10
How sweet his music! on my life,
There's more of wisdom in it.
And hark! how blithe the throstle sings!
He, too, is no mean preacher:
Come forth into the light of things,
Let Nature be your teacher.
She has a world of ready wealth,
Our minds and hearts to bless--
Spontaneous wisdom breathed by health,
Truth breathed by cheerfulness. 20
One impulse from a vernal wood
May teach you more of man,
Of moral evil and of good,
Than all the sages can.
Sweet is the lore which Nature brings;
Our meddling intellect
Mis-shapes the beauteous forms of things:--
We murder to dissect.
Enough of Science and of Art;
Close up those barren leaves; 30
Come forth, and bring with you a heart
That watches and receives.
Feel free to get your medical, veterinary and legal services from someone without a college education. But I'll continue to require it.
That is certainly your right! Given that you have this right, why would do we need to use police power to force everyone to do the same?
Years ago, I saw a movie that had a very valid point.
It was that overseeing bodies were created in order to keep the profit with the minority that were willing to pay the fees to belong to the body. Everybody won.
The overseeing body won because they got the fees and made money. The people who belonged to the overseeing body won because they had less competition from people who didn't belong to the overseeing body, especially when the overseeing body begins to bribe legislators to make it a crime to practice without belonging to the overseeing body.
Oh, did I say everybody benefits?
Oh, sorry, no, they don't.
Citizens lose out because they now have to pay sky high prices to what is essentially a cartel. And those that practice that don't want to pay the price of belonging to the cartel lose as well...
This forum has been a very interesting read - it took a few hours to read everything, including the Prometheus link, but still was interesting.
I'd say, no, a college education isn't necessary, however, with employers relying on higher education to produce workers and middle management candidates who are more than willing to follow the leader - a college education is required to get a decent paying job.
Now add in the fact that more and more people are getting a higher education while at the same time employers are hiring less and less new employees. What do you get? A well-educated population with fewer job opportunities. Maybe things will improve after all the baby boomers retire?
I think getting an education (both high school and college) is important for reasons other than, well, learning.
I dropped out and got my GED, and although I consider myself to be reasonably intelligent and successful, there are things I could have benefited from.
For example, college teaches you that you have to be punctual and interact well with your peers (even if you hate them). Some people never learn these things, and they struggle in the business world.
Honestly, the hardest thing for me (after dropping out of high school) was accepting that I had to be nice to people who I didn't feel deserved it. I'm not talking about sucking up; I'm referring to common courtesy and respect in the workplace. School teaches you to respect your teachers and classmates.
Social skills are important, especially if you plan to work outside your home or with other people. In that respect, I agree with what you have to say here.
But here are a couple of reasons why this sort of learning is not required for everyone and also why you can pick up these skills someplace other than school:
* People who are at their best working independently will never need to acquire these skills. These skills are especially crucial for team workers.
* For those people who will be working primarily in a team with others, the social skills required can be picked up in an apprenticeship, at finishing school, and in clubs like boy scouts or girl scouts.
To go to school or college just to pick up social skills is a huge waste of resources, and the people who are there just for social reasons make it hard for those who are in school for academic reasons.
Check this out:
I just got this link sent to me from a friend. Incredible!
The 2 worlds of young adults
Unemployment soars among New York's homegrown job-seekers; newcomers find that education, connections bring fortune
http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20 … /301029970
This is exactly what we have been talking about...
Unfortunately, if you're around my age (29), and haven't recieved a college degree. The stigma from employers is you must be as dumb as a sack of bricks. Apparently I can't read, write or do basic addition. I find that strange considering I write much better than most college students. It's an incredible adventure for me to try and get any job when I'm unemployed. Often I have to send in +200 resumes that prove point by point how I can do a basic job. Often I have to do something witty to stand out. In many cases I had to write cover letters that resemble a short novel just so employers don't think I'm stupid. I have to work so much harder than a college graduate, for so little, that it pains me. Once I do manage to get a job, I often find the experience unchallenging and I can't get promoted.
Because my jobs are never intellectually stimulating, I have to persue such ventures during my free time. During my free time I read, write, study the world, etc. while my college friends who are "better educated" watch garbage reality TV. Most of them have not learned anything beyond their degree and many are incapable of remotely thinking of anything outside their own little box. Over time, even their knowledge in their field becomes substandard as their minds slowly decay away watching junk on TV. However, I'm told that these people are more valuable than me because they have a college degree. I'm convinced I wouldn't be able to write as well as I do today with a college degree. I could make an argument that based on my experiences with some of my friends that do have a college degree, a college degree could potentially hurt my education.
In fact, in many instances a college degree hurt my passion for learning. Subjects that I was previously interested in and passionate over, the efforts died upon receiving an F on a report card because I'm not a professional regurgitator. I regained interests in many of those subjects, but only once I dropped out of college.
College is all one giant disgusting bubble. I wrote a long detailed hub about it here: http://hubpages.com/hub/The-College-Bubble
Without that initial college degree, one goes NOWHERE! No matter how industrious a person is, EDUCATION MATTERS. High school graduates are indeed LOST. They are delegated to dead end, low paid jobs. That's the name of the game. Also, high school graduates will be the ones who are going to be the new underclass as their jobs are becoming increasingly automated and/or outsourced. Unless one has at least a college degree, his/her existence will be dim at best and harrowingly bleak at worst. Anyone who states that one does not need a college education to succeed, needs to live in THE REAL, POSTMODERN world. One did not need a college education about 60-70 years ago and still could be middle class but now-NO WAY IN HELL. One needs at least graduate education just to be solidly middle class, c'mon now!
By 2018, 60 percent of job openings will require college education
Median weekly earnings are: less than a high school diploma, $471; high school diploma, $652; some college but no degree, $727; associate degree, $785; bachelor’s degree, $1,066; master’s degree, $1,300; doctoral degree, $1,624; and professional degree, $1,735.
Of COURSE! A graduate and/or a professional degree is NEEDED to obtain a DECENT JOB!
Really? My sister's husband is an electrician (as was I until I retired). His base wage is $73,000 per year, plus bennies and overtime. He loves the work; it is both stimulating and interesting with something new to be learned all the time.
How is that not a "decent" job?
There needs to always be a choice and we need more people in America that do more than sit behind a desk. Trying to find people that don't mind getting their hands dirty is sometimes impossible. And yes I too prefer a doctor that has been to college.
No matter how much school some people still do not know how to think for themselves. That is the key. I am for home schooling of young children so they learn to problem solve. It starts there. Wow. That felt like speech. Am I running for office? LOL
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