Alis volat propriis
- Aug 25, 2009
- Reaction score
Seriously. Answer the question.
The one obvious reason to go to college is to prepare oneself for a "profession" (e.g., accountant, engineer) or a "Profession" (Doctor, lawyer), or possibly to prepare oneself to be a teacher at one level or another (of which there is never any shortage).
One could also argue, I suppose, that a generic college degree is a "credential" that some employers recognize for jobs and/or careers that require intelligence and task-oriented skills, but no specific knowledge, such as Project Manager, Sales person, Retail or Restaurant manager, etc. Government, as employer, often requires a generic college degree for many positions.
But again, this second category is still going to college as preparation for a work career.
What other reason is there to go to college? What is the rationale, for example, for spending a quarter million dollars to study English Literature? You could get virtually the same education with a library card and access to the internet. If you are truly interested in English Lit, there is NO REASON to go to college to study it, at great cost in money and time. And I have chosen English Literature as an example but there are literally scores of other similarly "worthless" college majors - many of which include the word, "Studies" - for which virtually the same education can be had literally for free at one's local library and on line. Ethnic Studies? There are thousands of books, hundreds of sources of information to guide you to the best ones, countless on-line lectures and other sources of real-time information for those who choose to seek it out. It is literally a waste of time and money to go to college to pursue "Ethnic Studies." Even if it's not your money.
Some argue that "education" is itself a valuable thing, just as the beauty and smell of a flower are valuable things, and need no functional justification. To this I say, "Hogwash." This may be true for the monied class (who will never have to work to support themselves), but for working class people this is preposterous.
I submit that for many in college, the experience is nothing more than a justification to delay assumption of the obligations of adulthood, mainly, the social obligation to support oneself with gainful employment.
Consider that "adolescence" is a relatively new phenomenon. In the early days of Harvard University, for example, the typical starting student was 13-14 years old. That was - not coincidentally - the typical age at which a boy would start an apprenticeship, begin working on the family farm or business, or simply start working for whoever would have you. It is also the age at which jews do the bar mitzvah thing and Christians have "confirmation," signifying the advent, in both cases, of adulthood. Our society and culture have created the phenomenon of adolescence: a period between physical maturity (13-14) and adulthood, where there are essentially no real responsibilities, and it now expands into one's 20's for many Americans.
And in these days when "free college" is seriously bandied about as a possible public financial responsibility, is there ANY POSSIBLE JUSTIFICATION for imposing on the innocent taxpayers the obligation to pay for English Literature degrees?
In short, NO.
So, other than in preparation for a JOB (or whatever you want to call it), what rational purpose is served by going to college? How are the expense and time justified where ALL information is available for free, and particularly when there is the hidden expense of the earnings that will not occur while the student is wasting his time in college?
Is a degree in Theology worthless? What about History? Archeology or Anthropology? What about Communications or Criminal Justice?