Jun
05
2011

3 thoughts on this WaPo education bubble piece.

In no particular order:

  • So yes, Zuckerberg [you know: the guy who invented the Mafia Wars platform Facebook] was wasting his parents’ money and his own time. Why pay to be at Harvard if that’s what you’re going to do? Why not take a class on Dostoyevsky or the history of Christianity or astronomy or ancient history? You are surrounded by some of the most learned people in the world, and you are holed up in your dorm room typing code. – Frankly, if my kids end up at Harvard I’d rather that they stayed in their rooms, wrote code, and avoid as much as possible the actual ‘intellectual’ life there, given that said life mostly consists of finding new and exciting ways to blame the ills of the world on Dead White Guys.  And America.
  • In the college transaction, most parents think they’re buying their kids a credential, a better job and a ticket, economically speaking at least, to the American dream. Most college professors and administrators (the good ones, anyway) see their role as producing liberally educated, well-rounded individuals with an appreciation for certain kinds of knowledge. – So, basically, neither side is accomplishing its goal.
  • Employers may decide that there are better ways to get high school students ready for careers. What if they returned to the idea of apprenticeship, not just for shoemakers and plumbers but for white-collar jobs? – Heh.  What if we returned to the idea of not making a white-collar job an ideal?  Let me put it this way: I have some grad school.  My wife has a PhD (in something useful; which is to say, not in liberal arts).  We’re, false modesty be darned, intelligent, educated people.  And I plan to talk up the joys of being an electrician or a plumber to my kids.  You know why?  Because somebody will always be willing to pay for a smart, competent electrician or plumber.  And when I say ‘always’ I explicitly mean ‘even in post-apocalyptic scenarios.’  Not that I expect things to get that bad.

I think that covers it.

Moe Lane

Via Instapundit.

2 Comments

  • Jeff Weimer says:

    “In the college transaction, most parents think they’re buying their kids a credential, a better job and a ticket, economically speaking at least, to the American dream.”

    I managed that without forcing my parents to pay for a credential. Not that they wouldn’t – I wouldn’t let them. I joined the Navy. It’s a middle-class existence while you’re in, nothing wrong with that.

    But my experience there (still without a BA/BS) has enabled a quite fine salary afterward. Of course it took 22 years instead of 4, but I WAS paid well in the meantime. And I got to see a lot, a LOT, that I otherwise wouldn’t have experienced otherwise. And I get the “stick-to-it” credit granted otherwise inexperienced grads.

  • jbird says:

    You live in Maryland, like me, so I know you’ve heard Ron Smith rant on higher education’s lack of value when comparing cost to job training. He’s really quite good, despite his Ron Paul leanings.

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