#1 Education Credentials Don't Always Bring A Big Payoff01-23-2012, 04:57 PMOne of the ways of trying to reduce the vast disparities in economic success, which are common in countries around the world, is by making higher education more widely available, even for people without the money to pay for it.
This can be both a generous investment and a wise investment for a society to make. But, depending on how it is done, it can also be a foolish and even dangerous investment, as many societies around the world have learned the hard way.
When institutions of higher learning turn out highly qualified doctors, scientists, engineers and others with skills that can raise the standard of living of a whole society and make possible a better and longer life, the benefits are obvious.
What is not so obvious, but is painfully true nonetheless, is that colleges and universities can also turn out vast numbers of people with credentials, but with no marketable skills with which to fulfill their expectations. There is nothing magic about simply being in ivy-covered buildings for four years.
Statistics are often thrown around in the media, showing that people with college degrees earn higher average salaries than people without them. But such statistics lump together apples and oranges — and lemons.
A decade after graduation, people whose degrees were in a hard field like engineering earned twice as much as people whose degrees were in the ultimate soft field, education. Nor is a degree from a prestigious institution a guarantee of a big payoff, especially not for those who failed to specialize in subjects that would give them skills valued in the real world.
But that is not even half the story. In countries around the world, people with credentials but no marketable skills have been a major source of political turmoil, social polarization and ideologically driven violence, sometimes escalating into civil war.
People with degrees in soft subjects, which impart neither skills nor a realistic understanding of the world, have been the driving forces behind many extremist movements with disastrous consequences. ...
Long article but I think Thomas Sowell is always worth a read.
01-23-2012, 06:13 PM
Yes, good read. Thanks. :)
Liberalism is just communism sold by the drink.
01-23-2012, 06:24 PM
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I can't argue with a single word of his article. But there still remains individuals like me, who actually should study the softer subjects, like history.
That's because people like me have the ability to move up the ladder no matter where they are placed, and defining myself too sharply by becoming, say, an engineer would have resulted in a frustrating and fairly unprofitable career.
As it is, I moved through the sales ranks, on into marketing (there is a difference), self employment, and so forth.
So for me, the broader education was best. But not for everyone. Not for most, even.
01-23-2012, 06:40 PM
01-23-2012, 06:50 PM
Another downside of making higher education more "Accessible" on this side of the pond has been a serious erosion of standards, to the point that a Bachelor's degree is no guarantee that a job candidate can successfully pen a grammatically-acceptable piece of correspondence, or even be counted upon to accurately read one in his or her technical field.
01-23-2012, 07:00 PM
And then there are people like me. I graduated highschool and enrolled in college. In two years, I changed majors three times, Education to Internation Studies to Accounting. Then a friend of mine introduced xray school, a two year hospital based program which ended with taking national boards. Within graduation, I had a higher paying job than my classmates who completed a four year degree. Within a few years and several promotions, I made a larger salary than my friends with Bachelor Degrees. With the exception of a couple of people who are civil and mechanical engineers, one turned VP of an Engineering Consulting firm.
In retrospect, I do wish I had gotten my Bachelor's degree...but then I wouldn't be where I am now in the medical field. I'm not wealthy, but I live a comfortable life.
My sister in law's brother finished his master's degree in 2008 and is now going to school for his PhD....yet hasn't worked in about 8 years...lol. He's on my facebook and his posts always revolve around the unemployment numbers and the tough economy...but he wasn't working even when the unemployment numbers were below 5%. He is a perfect example of too much education and not enough brains. There are plenty more like him.
01-23-2012, 09:07 PM
After teaching for 5 years, developing a duodenal ulcer and earning a MSc I went into the ‘oil bidnis’ and loved it. I ended up working the last 20 years as a generalist of sorts, using arithmetic, geology, geophysics, petroleum engineering and general good sense to wrap all of the tons of information into a coherent scenario explaining why this well was dryer than a popcorn fart and that one came in at 45 mcfd and produced for 60 years (and is still producing).
The reason for going through all of the above is in support of my position that the generalist is the hope for the future. So many researchers are blind outside their own little frame of reference while the generalist sees the input from multiple researchers and can tie all of these together showing the synergy.It's not how old you are, it's how you got here.
It's been a long road and not all of it was paved.
Live every day as if it were your last, because one of these days, it will be.
01-24-2012, 11:45 AMPeople with degrees in soft subjects, which impart neither skills nor a realistic understanding of the world, have been the driving forces behind many extremist movements with disastrous consequences. ...Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.
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C. S. Lewis
Do not ever say that the desire to "do good" by force is a good motive. Neither power-lust nor stupidity are good motives. (Are you listening Barry)?:mad:
01-24-2012, 12:14 PM
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