In a strange turn of events, we have a story which reports something contrary to what has been postulated for the last 60 or so years, and is also in direct contradiction to the changes we were told would be needed in the 1990s by the changing world of the Clinton years.

Instead of encouraging nearly every person to gain an advanced education, the piece makes the statement that with more education comes less growth of the economy.

While many bought in to the concept of the United States moving its people into the world of ideas, and letting the menial jobs move elsewhere, I think we can see how that has worked out. Not that the idea was not a grand one, but the plan forgot that the system works best for those that have concrete products, and that ideas are easily changed, or stolen.

[slashdot]

The AP reports on a growing sense among policy wonks that too many Americans are going to four-year colleges, to the detriment of society as a whole: "The more money states spend on higher education, the less the economy grows." "The notion that a four-year degree is essential for real success is being challenged by a growing number of economists, policy analysts, and academics. They say more Americans should consider other options, such as technical training or two-year schools, which have been embraced in Europe for decades. As evidence, experts cite rising student debt, stagnant graduation rates, and a struggling job market flooded with overqualified degree-holders. … The average student debt load in 2008 was $23,200 — a nearly $5,000 increase over five years. Two-thirds of students graduating from four-year schools owe money on student loans. … [A university economist said,] ‘If people want to go out and get a master’s degree in history and then cut down trees for a living, that’s fine. But I don’t think the public should be subsidizing it.’"

The only thing wrong with this idea is that it will take many years to unthink this concept. There are so many jobs today, needing nothing more than a high school education, common sense, and a bit of training, yet the people that administer them have been made to believe that a college degree is somehow necessary.

We are told the world wants thinkers. In most cases, that is distinctly not true. What is wanted is a group of ready and willing doers, with a limited amount of intelligence to react to changes in a certain set of conditions while a process is completed. (That is not to say the workers must be of limited intelligence, it means that only a limited intelligence will be needed to accomplish all aspects of the job.)

When I was younger, and had less education, I was convinced that a degree was simply a way to keep many out of the real job market for about 5 years. After a good deal of post high school learning, I feel the same way, though I greatly appreciate what the learning has done for me. The point remains that so many jobs that ostensibly need a college degree don’t need any such thing. They need an entrance exam capable of sorting out those capable of doing the job, and instead of devising one, many places simply assert the need for a degree.

I don’t believe in less education, I believe in more; but I also don’t believe that the current system is doing us as much good as it is supposed to do. There needs to be much more interaction between the workplace and the educational community, and as communication gets better, so will the nation, and its economy.

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sheeple the sheeple need a college education – ask most of them what they actually do with it

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It is not necessary to understand things in order to argue about them. – Pierre Beaumarchais

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