Students and high school counselors need to get real and to SHOP for the school
that has the tuition that they can afford. This kind of shopping will force the
colleges to think of how they can attract students, and they might forestall
building the extravagant buildings and promoting the professors who are only
doing research. I realize that reseaarch is important, but some of it is just
silly and useless to the realities of the job market and the students'
I first attended college back in the mid-1970's B.C. (Before Computers)
College-level work was much more difficult, yet rewarding, back then. Jump ahead
38 years, to when I finally finished my college degree in 2010; online classes,
open-book tests, nowhere near as much homework as I had in the '70's.
As the "oldest kid on campus," I saw kids showing up on campus with
wretched reading and writing skills, below-level math skills,and little or no
foreign language skills. Most tests were either taken online or else
true-and-false questions, and perhaps some multiple choice tests with an answer
pool which all but gave away the correct answer. I had one class in which the
professor dared to have us write - by hand, no less - an essay for a final exam.
Previously, I had always excelled in essay tests, but to hear these kids today
groan and moan when they found out that they had to actually WRITE OUT the
answers to a series of essay questions, with no notes or open book - one would
have thought that they were being tortured and executed! Bring back the
"old school" schools, for heaven's sake!
@Ricardo CarvalhoThe price of anything is simply a function of
supply and demand. My point is that demand has increased dramatically (and for
bad reasons) while supply (the number of colleges) has not come close to keeping
pace – if supply had kept pace the price would be unchanged. To your
point, rather than continuing to artificially increase demand by subsidizing
tuition expense, States would do better by increasing the supply – i.e.,
build more colleges. @ Wally WestI agree with your
second point and over time the free market will take care of that problem
– if the best job a JD can get is at Starbucks, applications to attend law
school should start to drop. As to your first point, sure, but at what cost?
Does it make sense to spend $40K per year to get an art history degree if your
job prospects are also limited to Starbucks? You could probably pay
an art professor to join you on a summer European museum tour for a fraction of
the cost, and perhaps get more out of it… except of course the piece of
I tend to agree with Tyler D to a certain extend. We need a more robust system
of post-secondary education that includes the course of study at the technical
colleges and community colleges as well as an apprenticeship system patterned
after that in Germany.I would, however, argue with your
characterization of education inflation. While the drive for everyone to go to
college and the accompanying federal resources dedicated to that goal play a
very large role, one must also look at state funding for the culprit. Whether
one agrees that state funding should support higher education, it must be
acknowledged that the increase in tuition bears a startling correlation with the
decrease in state funding. Further, one should throw the ancillary services
piece into the equation as well.
re: BYU Track Star & Tyler DMaybe, we need a few more English
Lit & Art History grads and **LOT** less MBA's & JD's?
@ dwaynerichards 12/11Or, what about... Don't know where I got
this example... but those who go to college and then leave the work force after
say 6 yrs to become a full time parent?
Hundreds of non graduates can achieve entrepreneurial success. In terms of how
many non graduates there are, however, it can be safely said that almost no non
graduates are successful entrepreneurs. That's just the way it is. Bill
gates and the oreck guy and the handful of others people name are the george
burns of smokers or the lottery winner. The lotteries never publish the names of
the losers. Best bet for kids these days is a trade.
The main driver of education inflation is the silly notion the "everyone
should go to college." This is nonsense. College, for the sake of a well
rounded education and not as a trade, used to be focused on only a small
minority that showed the desire and ability to absorb and profit from it. Today,
a large percentage of kids are simply in it for the piece of paper and could
care less about the finer points of Plato or Joyce. We would do much
better to shift a large part of our resources to trade & technical schools
and stop kidding ourselves that reading a Wiki page as preparation to write a
paper on post-modern literary criticism is providing anything close to a return
on investment... even an intangible one.
I hope that people will learn to do something useful, something that creates
wealth such as homes, furniture, food, electronic goods, inventions, or fills
the great void for inspired, honest and wise administrators and statesmen. I
hope we will have honest businesses perhaps working in co-operation rather than
cutthroat competition, that we will increase the happiness of man, rather than
prostituting intelligence and imagination for the glory of xyz corporation and
the inglorious demise of our competitors.I hope people will enjoy
their work, work conscienciously and know, at the end of the day, that they have
added to the wealth and happiness of their fellows and provided for the comfort
and wellbeing of their families too. I hope they still have time for their wives
and children and for personal development.
Red Headed stranger. I had classes in both high school and college
where we didn't even use the textbooks at all but it was required to have
them. I got an A in both classes.
SLC gal,Not only is it a waste of time go to college for
"education's sake" but it drives up the cost and makes the paper
the degree is printed on worth more than the degree itself. The more people who
have a degree than less value it will have. If I'm an employer interviewing
10 candidates for a position and 9 have a college degree and one doesn't
and 6 of them have work experience including the one without that degree and 4
do not have any real work experience I will immediately rule the graduates
without any experience out.At that point it would come down to those
with work experience and if I feel the one with the no degree and work
experience has skills that can not be learned in college I will choose them. Who
cares about a piece of paper anyone can buy with loans and federal aid? Even
people with developmental disorders and no work ethic get degrees. I may hire
them as cashier and let them put their degree on display but they will never
become my CEO even with a worthless piece of paper.Sad but true
Most college degrees are worth a token in the subway. That's the reality
that these colleges won't tell you about. Much better to learn a trade. I
know from experience. College was the worst decision i have ever made. It's
good if you know somebody so you can fight the inflation of education and
nursing degrees out there.
In the Musical "Avenue Q" the early on song "What can you do with a
BA in English?" seems appropriate. I told my kids early on in High School
that they need to study something that will help them be financially
independant. So far so good.
"High-profile success stories like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg are
exceptions. Most well-paying jobs still require degrees."I
don't believe that Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg are exceptions but are
just two of the most highly known of those who have been successful without a
college degree. You have Paul Allen (Microsoft), Bill Gates (Microsoft), Richard
Branson (Virgin), Michael Dell (Dell), Bill Gates (Microsoft), David Oreck
(Oreck), Richard Schultz (Best Buy), Alfred Taubman (Taubman) and Ty Warner (Ty)
among many others. These names are more familiar than the hundreds of others
highly successful people without a college degree but there are literally
millions of others who are successful by any standard who did not go to college
or who do not have a college degree.Lying to young people and
telling them a college degree is required for well paying jobs is wrong. The
degree means nothing if the right person comes along. A business owner will hire
someone that's highly qualified and have the right work skills over someone
with a college degree every time. People who are successful have something more
than a degree. That's the commonality. Guess what it is.
College is a waste unless you're going for a specific purpose. If you want
to be a lawyer or doctor, please get the degree first. Going for
"education's sake" or even just to get credits until you figure out
what you want to do is a waste of time and money. To survive in this economy,
you can't be a bean counter, you have to be the person who makes the beans
Skipping college "might" work well for entrepreneurs. Since
they're self employed, having a degree "on paper" doesn't help
them much. But for those of us who want to work in a company...it probably
helps a lot, even if it's on paper :)
I have always told my kids that a BS degree is a MUST to even compete in society
today. An MS degree is an insurance policy that you may have to use at some
point. There is always the temptation to skip the pain of college and jump into
some ready cash from some start up company but usually that flash in the pan job
doesn't last and you are left to find something else ... with no degree.
College is a must for most kids today unless you plan on working in the trades
but even there you need state certifications. There really is no short cuts to
education. The worry - which is legitimate - will graduation provide a job and
over the past 4 years it hasn't for the most part. Kids are left to pay off
student loans with no decent jobs.
"one-third of today's students take no course requiring more than 40
pages of reading,"How is that even possible? My middle school
classes required that much reading. No, seriously. Please DN, provide more
information on how that data was acquired because it doesn't seem possible.
If it is true, then I guess the goal of having everyone get a college degree
truly is a farce. An expensive, time-wasting travesty.