Is College Worth Anything Anymore?
There’s a plan that most people work with, and while sure- the actual details do deviate a lot they can be boiled down into three steps:
- Finish High School.
- Go to College.
- Get a job is mentioned college degree field.
What’s Wrong Here?
When you take a look at what many people wind up doing after college the last steps seem rather redundant. There are some estimates that place only about 30% of the population into any sort of range that shows any benefits to even attend.
Even economists argue that most people just wind up with a ton of debt and that college simply isn’t for everyone. While it’s expected that someone will go, and get some degree or another- it’s not always in the person’s best interest.
In fact the above statistics were a fair portion of why I made the decision to go to a tech school and not a four year college.
I did go back a few different times to traditional four years, into programs that simply weren’t for me. It seemed like a necessity, something I had to do. It wasn’t even an option not to go, it was just something that was expected to have a degree (any degree).
None of the decisions were good ones, and it took a long while to find out what I really wanted to do for the rest of my life. When I was finally ready to make that jump, I researched my options.
- Get a bachelors in computer science.
- Or get certified in what I actually want to do.
Now, had I wanted to go into computer engineering or similar the first option is really the best bet. However what I want to do required I know some very specific things, and to get certifications in those things.
I chose the tech school as the best bet, it’s more of an extended boot camp than a traditional school, something that teaches me what I need to know for the certifications and under fairly ‘real world’ conditions.
But, I’m lucky in that my passion does lie in a field like that.
A Degree is Watered Down
When you look at the jobs out there that require degrees to so much look at your resume, you have to really wonder when everything become so ridiculous.
No insult to the company intended, after all theirs is just one listing randomly chosen as an example:
As I mentioned, there are many other examples out there.
Even many phone support or general sales jobs that require a two or four year degree as well. Just taking a look at a college’s offerings can show that someone, at some point may have jumped the shark.
The result is that the meaning behind that coveted piece of paper is vastly watered down from what it was at one point. There was a time that it meant a lot more than getting yourself a middle-wage job. Maybe it’s time to go back to that, and not waste so much money.
It’s Expensive, and Often Unnecessary
Colleges across the board are raising prices and that is putting more people in deep debt, which is putting so much more pressure of them when they may not even need that degree in the first place. Even looking at the drop out rates is telling. It seems that college is becoming more of an unneeded expense for many.
College was a way to stand apart from the crowd, and receive specialized training for jobs that need it (doctors and lawyers for example). Now, a fair portion of people have degrees- which like anything- can render them useless for their purpose.
Sure, I could get an Ivy education in something ridiculous (really, Ivy League winemaking? Or maybe even bowling?) but why? Why should so many people spend so much time and money on something that other options could easily teach as well?
Education, and especially that in higher education, needs to take a good look at itself. Some common sense, and reforms are in order. Things as they are are completely out of hand.