August 18, 2008

College anyone?

Last night Allen sent me a link to a New York Times article on why college really isn't all it's cracked up to be. We've all heard these arguments from insular Christian families who are scared their kids may watch a movie NOT put out by Focus on the Family and therefore become screaming liberals. This isn't it. It's not even a big brother article about how some people are unfit to go to college and therefore should be shunted off to trade school upon finishing 10th grade. Nope, this author simply looked at how the BA/BS was designed, marketed, and used and decided that it was mostly just that -BS. One of the more interesting points he makes is that the BA/BS degree, which often offers little to no idea of an applicant's actual abilities, serves as a cash/time barrier effectively barring certain people from being able to move into certain (perhaps more lucrative) fields. Instead he proposes that if apprenticeships and national/industry-wide certifications (like the CPA) became more widely used as a measure of competence then a graduate of Podunk U, On-line U, or even Local Library U could actually compete with Harvard graduates in the job market. Obviously this would be easier or harder in various industries, but I love his perspective. Why shouldn't someone with plenty of brains but not enough time/money to commit to a BA be able to study/work their way into a good job? It won't hurt the BA grads who really know their stuff, and it would help competent people at the margins move up in the world. It could even help employers get good employees.

If you're interested in the article here's the link.

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