while i agree that you learn more by doing ( i am a huge proponent of experiential education), i think limited skill sets are only useful for some. if youre teaching someone on the job, that is just one skillset. it does give you the chance to be really really good at those skills... bit i think that for some people, at least having the opportunity to learn about a wide range of things is more useful as it allows for discovery of new interests. i think education (all eduction) is one of the most important things in life. to say that its a waste of time has just never made any sense to me.
College should be about refining and improving these skills with a concentrated focus on a particular field of study. Whether that includes geology for accountants is a question I leave as an aside. But students should already know the basics of scientific thinking before they get to college, they shouldn't need remedial "this is a rock" classes.
I call B.S. A lot of what you learn to study for the CPA exam is never used in real-life accounting & finance.The model is the CPA exam that qualifies certified public accountants. The same test is used nationwide. It is thorough -- four sections, timed, totaling 14 hours. A passing score indicates authentic competence (the pass rate is below 50%). Actual scores are reported in addition to pass/fail, so that employers can assess where the applicant falls in the distribution of accounting competence. You may have learned accounting at an anonymous online university, but your CPA score gives you a way to show employers you're a stronger applicant than someone from an Ivy League school.
This is accomplished, as wilbur notes, through exposure to different topics and varying forms of analysis. Deconstructing The Wasteland, for example, teaches an analytic process that is substantially different than that provided through analysis of a chemical compound. Similarly, mapping the syntax of a sentence in Old Norse is different, at the thought process level, than refining an algorithm for a data mining program. While all are different, all are necessary (or their equivalents) to really succeed in most professions.
Go ahead and give people, for example, programming jobs on the basis of certification rather than an education. Make sure they've got that focused, in-depth knowledge and skill to address the exact task that you need them for. And I'll be there right behind you to replace that person with a $25/hour Indian. :D
But seriously, it means that 75% of the country does not have a bachelor's.
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