Take the B.S. out of higher education

A college education is meaning less and costing more. Is college really the best way to achieve the ultimate goal: a fulfilling and lucrative career?

Modern higher education is trapped in a rut and may need to go back-way back-to move forward.

It was the vision of former Senator Claiborne Pell, D-R.I., who was responsible for the Pell grants. The grants helped allow everyone to go to college so they could make more money. On average, college graduates make twice as much as those without any degree.

This is skewed because it includes all degrees including master’s, Ph.D., MD, JD, etc, which are high earners. Bachelor’s degrees are losing value.

Many who complete college are capable, but it is safe to say a good many graduates would make large incomes regardless of their higher educations. Bill Gates doesn’t have a degree.

How does a bachelor’s degree earn you money? The editors of Early To Rise believe college forms these habits:

* showing up on time

* paying close attention to assignments

* completing assignments on time

* doing more than the minimum required

* struggling with difficult tasks

* organizing tasks by priorities

Of course, about half of students don’t regularly attend classes. Assignments are often done at 2 a.m., about five hours before their due date. Easy classes and majors are always preferred. Parties often take top priority. Besides, shouldn’t these habits have been instilled in high school?

Gary North says, “Businessmen know, for example, that a Ph.D. in economics or an MBA from one of the best business or management schools has imparted little or no practical knowledge to their graduates. It takes five years of on-the-job experience to make them useful.”

Economists and even local business leaders, including Fred Lampropolous, have said too many employees are overeducated (can recite mindless facts and superficial theories) and underskilled (can’t act properly in formal social settings, problem solve, apply knowledge, work independently and not good with their hands).

Employers are looking for people who will not quit. A positive thing about college is it teaches how to endure enormous boredom for five or six years.

There is a better way. What if we bring back apprenticeships?

Five years of on-the-job training goes a long way. All needed theoretical information can be taught in conjunction with real world training. Apprentices can be paid for their work, stay out of debt and be self-supported.

Costs to train apprentices could be deducted from their wages.

After “graduation,” they’ll have more experience and productivity to make a higher wage than college graduates.

Art history can be learned while administering the local art museum, biological theory can be learned in a lab and political science can be learned while actively misleading the American public.

If one wishes more liberal education (philosophy, history, etc.) than offered by a trainer, one may purchase lectures from highly regarded professors on compact discs from places like the Teaching Company.

CDs are cheaper than tuition and convey the same information without tests or papers.

The listener would probably retain as much or more than college classes.

Original writing of great thinkers can be purchased for less than $15 and listened to on the way to an apprenticeship to get better training in the same amount of time for less money.

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