What is Your Diploma Worth?

So, how much is a sheepskin worth these days?  I don’t know.  I don’t have one.  I have looked around a time or two, though, and I wonder.  For years and years, I heard the term classical education, but had no idea what it meant.  Shows how much I know.

Then, one day I found out.  At least I think I know; for what good that is.  It seems that it is the study of history, classical literature and a little about science.  At one time, it was something that most college students strived for.  I don’t know.  I’m no expert.  They might still do.

However, I heard the other day that many people who run corporations don’t care too much for hiring college grads with classic educations any more.  It seems, before they can start pulling their weight within the company, they need to learn a few things, like how to be useful.

I suppose that, if a person has a small fortune, maybe a classic education would be really nice.  On the other hand, for those who need to pay back student loans while paying the rent, it just might be better to study business, engineering, or even simply math.

Then, there are those who seek degrees in anthropology.  I talked to a few folks who had degrees in anthropology.  I asked them where they could use it to make a living.  The truth is that there is not much need in this world for anthropologists.  To be sure, some are even now working in their field and making a good living at it.

My guess is that for every one that is practicing anthropology, there are likely ten who are doing something totally unrelated to put the meat and taters on the table.  I keep thinking of the one-frame cartoon I saw in a magazine.  The bearded man is standing next to the highway with a cardboard sign, “will do anthropology for food.”  My guess is that if real, not many would stop, except out of pity.

Today, I am looking at our college education system and I have come to the conclusion that there are three problems with it.  First, college loans should be 80% guaranteed by the collage.  If the graduate cannot get hired in the field of study, then the college should be required to pay 80% of the cost of the education.  It might not stop the teaching of unneeded courses or ridiculous classes, but it would certainly decrease the number of them.  More important, we would not have so many graduates in debt up to their necks.

Second, we need to get government out of our education, period.  As long as colleges realize they can keep raising prices they will.  Moreover, the government does seem to like such useless courses.

Third, just maybe they will start teaching students how to do things besides demonstrate.  Moreover, it might encourage those in the colleges to buckle down and learn instead of partying.

As an aside, it might not hurt to decrease the emphasis on sports.  I mean, it is about time we determine the purpose of schools.  Is their purpose to provide useful, intelligent grads for society or professional athletes to the pro leagues?  Maybe it is time the leagues start paying for the educations.  After all, the taxpayers are training the players for the pros.

Thinking over the above, the thought did occur to me.  Just what is a useful education?  What is it that college grads do?  Maybe it would be better to look at those who will not be able to work in their field of study.

Art, is a wonderful study.  It does add a lot to our society.  However, the vast majority of art majors fail to make a living at it.  Unless you’re independently, maybe it should be reserved for a minor instead of a major.  Certainly, tax payers ought not to foot the bill for the mass failure.

Some sciences.  Research is wonderful.  Have you ever seen some of the things they are researching on our dime?  I mean, really, shrimp on treadmills.

Even automobile engineers should be limited.  We only have three, maybe four major auto manufactures in the country.  Just how many engineers do they need in Detroit, anyway?  I don’t know.  However, I’d guess there are a few out of work right now.  Then, there will be more each year hoping to get on a GM, Ford or maybe Chrysler.

Certainly, we need lawyers, though I hate to admit it.  The problem is that we now have so many; they are inventing some pretty farfetched reasons to take a company or a person to court.  I suppose I should be thankful for them in one respect.  They are providing funding for the TV and radio.  Even there, they are using my money for it.  Every time they sue a store, I spend more in groceries.  Every time the car manufactures get sued, the price of cars goes up.  Certainly many suits are good and important.  However, you notice the planes some of these billionaire lawyers fly these days?  They bought the planes and limos mostly from settlements without proving guilt.  Those who pay, pay larger liability insurance.  In the end, they charge us more.  As I said, we paid for those planes.  Every one of them, and the fuel too.

In the end, the economy should determine who does and does not get loans.  It should be determined at banks, not by the federals.  The federals, I guess never learned math in school.  They keep spending money without limit.

Regardless of any of the above, do the smart thing when you go to college, loan or not.  Choose a major carefully.  You likely will not make much of a living on art appreciation.  Not much of a call for it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s