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.
Not anymore, not nowadays. Not in a time when lots of "higher ed" is about work skills.
For example, 6 million Americans attend community colleges. That's a lot. They are not there to study Shakespeare and Plato. They stop by to pick up credits that help them apply for work: medical coding, computer coding, hospitality jobs, turf managment, nursing aide ed, etc etc.
Teachers and government officials have jobs that require completed degrees. They are therefore defending their turf, formally or informally, by assigning higher status to completing a liberal-arts degree that half of them don't understand what they've learned, versus picking up credits in something measurable.
A young friend who teaches English at a suburban high school brings in people from various professions to speak to the class once a month. She brought in an electrician and a commercial plumber and was told by her principal to not ever do that again. "We don't want to sell our kids short" he said. Tells you everything.
Assistant Village Idiot
The only thing the Liberal Arts prepares you for is more school until you finally become a professor or accept your falling short and become a high school teacher. One must be careful to realize that college and now high school is organized to only promote more education.
In the past, a liberal arts major did give the student better writing skills and discipline of intellect, but that is no longer a common outcome of the modern Liberal Arts major as we see by the declining writing skills of those who enter the "intellectual", i.e., chattering, class.
Dissing those who don't get the credential is how the "good student" and "educational" professionals segregate themselves from the "dummies".
People hold information in different parts of their brain, where they don't touch.
Or, it is left over from centuries of nobility looking down on those "in trade."
Assistant Village Idiot
You can study Shakespeare and Plato at your local community college. I always think I got a better education at my local junior college than the final 2 years at a university. And it was cheaper(actually it was on a scholarship).
When did the teaching and government guilds start requiring degrees?
Those colleges are preparing students for low-wage jobs. High wage jobs like welding, fabrication, and construction require a different kind of education. But those classes aren't offered, because we are all supposed to live in a post-industrial world; where there isn't any welding. China will do that.
Those classes are offered, as are classes in heavy equipment operating, specialty welding, etc etc. And they're often full. They are offered by extension services and joint industry cooperative programs. What are you thinking, that everyone still learns a trade by apprenticeships?
And those community/technical programs are serious. My local Community College offers a program in Machinist skills. It's 16 months long, and all day long. I wanted to do while still working, but I can't. The program description says they have a 99% job placement. I assume the 1% are like me -- who want to learn it as a retirement hobby. The welding program is also over a year long.
Not sure I agree with the IQ part. I know plenty of degreed folks who seem incapable of doing anything beyond regurgitating what they've read; which is about the only skill you need to obtain a liberal arts degree.
"willingness to complete a task" in the face of mounting costs, speculative outcomes, and better alternatives. Maybe appropriate for someone digging ditches or a kid doing his homework, but not for someone I want making decisions in my business...
(and an arbitrary task assigned by an outside party, not one based on design or strategy...)