Wednesday, February 22, 2012

When "Education" became a Liability

The education/student loan time bomb I have mentioned over the years is coming closer and closer to actual detonation.

A fellow I met here on the blog sent me this link today.

I am BEYOND thrilled that this is coming into the national discussion. Paying $85,000 (for a state university) or $200,000 (for a private university) for a degree that could have been had for free at the public library and the internet... or for a couple hundred $$ in used books.

Counseling? My 88 year old mother would do it for free... and far better than the kids coming out of school.

Early childhood education? Are you freaking kidding me? "Teaching" kindergarten does not require 4 years of training. 4 years of medication, maybe... but not 4 years of overpriced "training".

You paid $80,000 to $200,000 for "training" in Social Work? Art Appreciation? Women's Studies? WTF!!!!!!????? Are you rich? If you not, you have rocks in your head.

Anybody really think that half of the private colleges in America will even be in business in 20 years? The same thing that happened to the banks and mortgage companies during the unwind of the housing bubble will happen to these schools during the unwind of the "education" (snicker) bubble. Then, to add insult to injury, the American energy situation is going to drive stakes through the heart of whatever it was you planned to do for a living once you get finished being taken, sorry... "educated"... (if your folks have $200k to blow on a history degree, ask them for a $200k house and go get a library card. Not needing to make the mortgage every month will leave you lots of time to indulge in intellectual pursuits).

Why, in the 21st Century, does anyone need to travel anywhere to hear a lecture? To submit papers, take tests, exchange ideas? Really?!.. The cost/benefit analysis has failed the customer/student. So much of this needs to be "thought anew", but don't count on any new thinking coming out of the university-industrial complex.

Better yet, think for yourself. If you are going to pay $100k plus for an education, make you sure you get some training in marketable skills. Math, Science, Engineering, Accounting, Technology, etc... you know, the STEM fields. Wasting time (economically speaking) is ok for the wealthy, but if you are going to college to "move the peanut forward" (economically speaking) wasting precious time and resources on feel good affirmation will only dig the hole you are trying to climb out of a little deeper.


tweell said...

The problem is that a college education is needed to rectify the deficiencies of our primary and secondary schools. One study I saw noted that 44% of students attending college took at least one remedial course for english, mathematics or reading. Given the poor skills of the recent baccalaureates I've worked with recently, the remedial students must have really needed help.
College is the new high school.

Greg T. Jeffers said...

"College is the new high school".

I think that that is spot on. And high school became the new Junior high early to mid 20th century... all part and parcel to our never ending extension of childhood...