We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Individuals with a lot of intelligence and drive are, overwhelmingly, drawn to college, but it is their intelligence and drive that brings about their later success, not the fact that they passed enough courses to get the credits necessary for a degree. John Mackey of Whole Foods, for example, took a number of college courses before dropping out to concentrate on his business. He would be no more successful if he had earned his degree, or less successful if he hadn’t ever taken a single course.
On the other hand, we lure great numbers of young Americans into college these days with the idea that by getting their degree, they’ll enjoy a large earnings boost. A figure that is often, carelessly thrown around is the million dollar earnings premium for college grads.\
The problem is that, increasingly, high school graduates do not have even the most basic academic tools – they don’t read well, don’t write well, and can’t do basic math – and also expect that college will be like high school, only more fun. Any increase in college enrollment will overwhelmingly come from such academically marginal students. Going to college rarely transforms those disengaged kids into highly productive adults.
Essentially agree, except my usual disagreement that "increasingly, high school graduates do not have even the most basic academic tools." That has been said for decades, but there is no evidence for it. It's just one of those things that people like to say, backed up by anecdotes of how much better students and schools were in the Good Old Days.
But recognising that it is often not the college improving the student, but merely selecting the students who will later make it look good, is an important distinction that can't be said enough. One can, of course, learn things at college and make it worthwhile. The better student one is, the more valuable a good teacher is.
It is also evidence of some ability to work, follow the rules, and put up with crap - all of which are of interest to an employer.
Assistant VIllage Idiot
Bad public schools aside, only about 15% of the college age whites have an IQ high enough to benefit from college, and only about 2% can do STEM. Among blacks, the figures fall to less than 2% and nearly zero.
Nowadays, the typical BA program is a poor quality girls' finishing school. Except they did it better in the Nineteenth Century. Those girls could sew, draw, paint, do arithmetic, play the piano, dance real dances instead of gyrating and speak French, sometimes German. They knew some history, and some could read Latin and Greek.
Today's semiliterate, superstitious and delusional college graduates are economically useless and surplus. They are in for a real shock of declining living standards and health care. If the green fascists get their way, they won't even have electricity, never mind cars.
PS. Conflict of interest notice: I was in the trade for 37 years.
My English degree (yes, English!) is what got me several jobs. Without that on my resume, I would've been tossed in the trash heap.
I understand that there is a problem with the university system in this country, but I worry when college degrees are unilaterally pooh-pooh'ed as 'unnecessary' because a few super rich, highly successful people did fine without a degree.
Most of us are regular people...not highly exceptional people with unparalleled drive...so we need every extra bit we can get to make us stand out from the rest of the crowd. Sadly, a 4-year-degree is still the thing...
FYI, some people get ahead in their careers just by making it happen despite their lack of education, but I know some of these same people are told they will never earn as much or move up as high as someone else in their organization without a 4-year degree or sometimes a Master's Degree.
That is true, but is the expensive self-perpetuating problem I'd like to see the end of. Having a degree is a resume enhancement. But is that reputation deserved, or only a social marker?
The fields which require the most useless degrees - I'm thinking education, social work (I am a social worker) for example - are also the most convinced that you have to just go to College to be anyone. People in STEM field are more focused on what you have to learn in order to do the work, and identify college as one of the main places that can happen. Big difference.