My good friend the Captain has a new book out. The cover image alone makes it a win:
It is available in paperback and kindle formats. Check it out. It might help someone you know avoid making an expensive mistake!
I endorse that cover.
I’ll have to check it out. If there is one saving grace of a diploma, it’s that it has allowed me to interview for jobs, and get one, that I otherwise couldn’t have, even if the job has nothing to do with Poli Sci. Then again, I don’t have to pay off mountains of debt thanks to some scholarships and stuff.
Universities have become little more than a scam, unless you know exactly what you want, know exactly which classes will help you, and then go for it. Otherwise, they will be glad to take all your money, and leave you with a mountain of debt and little to show for it. Businesses are constantly criticized for ‘exploiting’ the poor, yet criticism is rarely directed at the Educational Behemoth that sucks so much wealth from unsuspecting young people. It helps to be a member of a protected class, i.e. the Ruling Class.
The weird thing about the American system is that you have to have an undergraduate degree to go to law, medical or MBA schools. That’s not how they do it in Britain or most commonwealth countries. Instead students usually enter professional school right after graduating A level from secondary schools at 18. That’s what we do with engineering, and most STEM subjects more or less in fact.
Hah! Yes, there a lot of “weird” things about the way the we spend taxpayer dollars….
Pretty much all I write about it how the ‘educational’ system has lost it’s way and devolved into very expensive training. The proliferation of professional degrees in University was truthfully Industry outsourcing it’s training.
That is why, as Doug1, said Britain and other countries streamline higher education and break down the time needed to get a professional degree. It is truly a sad state of affairs when someone can call themselves a college graduate in a Western Country and know nothing about the logos and ethos of Western Civilization.
Anyone wanting to further explore this issue should read Allan Bloom’s “Closing of the American Mind.”
[D: Good eye, thanks. Fixed.]
Seamus, like you I love the classics (and I looooooved Closing). But it’s hard to make a case that studying the “Great Books” will work out for most kids economically. I am guessing that book Dalrock recommends itself recommends that kids study engineering and busienss, etc., which is good career advice but kind of sad in the larger scheme of things. Somehow, as a nation, we used to manage to have an economy AND give students a solid grounding in the humanities through a core curriculum but nowadays everyone assumes it’s either/or.
That said, I saw a WSJ (I think) piece from a month or so back which said that philosophy majors earned incomes in the top tier relative to other majors. Sort of heartening though given the sorry state of most philsophy departments maybe it’s disheartening.
Escoffier Did that study control for philosophy majors who continue to get law degrees or MBAs? I ask because long ago when dinosaurs roamed the earth and I was in college, the philosophy departments were successfully pushing a philosophy bachelors as a precursor to law or business.
I don’t think it did. I can’t find the article but I did find this table. The bad news is that phil majors start making relativly little but they end up doing quite well.
Same deal in Canada as in the US. In order to get into Law or Med school you have to have a BA or a BSc, first. Law students usually have an Arts degree while Med students usually have a Sciences degree. It’s bloody expensive, folks.
To get my law degree I had to do a Business Science degree first. Standard practice I assume.
It seems to me that a lot of people forget that in the days when a university education was a valuable thing just to expand one’s mind through learning, the only people who attended university were rich white men who had the leisure to do that. People who were expected to need a job to support a family went right into a practical line of work.
Now everyone is encouraged to go to university, in part on the ‘beneficial for future work’ (which is true in only a few degrees) angle, but also (mainly from liberal arts grads) to ‘expand the mind’ and such.
I support people spending time to get educated in history and philosophy and such general knowledge, but that can be done pretty effectively outside of a paid school system. I’ve learned far more on my own time than I ever did in a classroom.
If you’ve analyzed the numbers, and picked a line of work where the money you spend on education will pay off enormously in job opportunities and wages (engineering, geoscience, medicine eventually), then it makes sense to go to school to take that training and get that degree.
If you just want to spend four years learning for the sake of ‘learning how to learn’, and developing a well-rounded base, it’s reasonable only to do so if you can fully fund it – meaning you can pay for school on your own dime, and live without making a lot of money during that time. ie. you need to be wealthy, or have saved up enough to fund some leisure years.
The idea that the entire population should do an additional four years of education with no practical basis is absurd, and never has been successfully done.
The worst part to me about law is that they don’t even require a particular degree. If the idea was that it took seven years to learn everything needed to become a lawyer, so you needed to do a four-year pre-law degree before law school, there would be justification. But given that any degree can apply, it seems they just require you spend four years of time and money before you’re permitted to learn about law. Which is bloody impractical and irritating.
I have a certificate in Hypnotherapy and an NLP practitioner certificate and I am working on my Doctorate in Divinity, all of which I’ve done on-line, and I practice at $125 per hour.
I see many degrees and diploma courses in vocations never paying off like the school promised.
My step-daughter took a vet-tech course promising an “industry standard” $15 per hour and when she graduated many vets were hiring the girls at $11, just slightly over minimum wage, simple supply and demand at work.
There is the argument that an on-line certification is worthless or fraudulent, but ask my clients that see improvement in their lives.
I entered this field after years in professions that needed little formal training. I was a realtor and did general contract work and built swimming pools. All jobs that need little formal education, but pay extremely well.
A client of mine lamented recently that his MBA is worth less than toilet paper in a job interview, though when he was in school everyone was hyped on the guaranteed six-figure starting salary.
Thank you for promoting this book and bringing it to our attention. I just downloaded it and quickly browsed its contents and it looks like sound advice. It corroborates my own conclusions drawn long ago about college.
Over the years as a professional engineer I have advised and mentored numerous high school and college students both in my workplace and through Web forums. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whGFuQ11-IM for a video offering insights similar to those in the book you promoted. It is crucial that young people understand and employ the many shortcuts available to save years of wasted effort and tens of thousands of dollars in squandered funds.
I stumbled across your site while searching for information about current rates of unwed births in the USA before my browsing led me to this page. Your site has many entries centered on the societal harms wrought by fornication, adultery, etc. I wanted to share yet another sorry story.
This story involves a young lady I attempted to mentor over the Web through periodic exchanges on Facebook based on her stated goal of attending college to become an engineer rather than immediately marrying right after high school and making babies as she claimed her Mormon family wished. Without beating you with details, I have never until now witnessed such a complete meltdown of an otherwise intelligent young lady. She completed her transfer associate degree in Florida and started at Brigham Young University in Idaho before leaving under questionable circumstances the first semester to return to her birth state in West Virginia. She who claimed to be a faithful Mormon wasted no time promptly acting in crucial ways contrary to the faith. By that I mean her drinking and fornicating and shacking with her newfound non-religious boyfriend at his mother’s house led first to an abortion and later to a second pregnancy for which she waited too long in denial to abort. The boyfriend asked her to marry him so they could raise the baby together as husband and wife and she said yes but her actions suggested a spirit not of a single mind. This in turn led to a histrionic episode involving her thrice-divorced Mormon grandmother attempting some sort of Sith Lord mind trick on her to spirit her away from her fiancé to an adoption safe house in Utah in her seventh month of pregnancy. Poor boyfriend was left in the lurch and started a massive Facebook recruitment effort to find her as he only learned the story past the fact. After she snapped from Grandma’s trance, she contacted her man for a long and intense talk. Her fiancé’s sister bought hum a plane ticket to Utah where they eloped the next business day to make him legal next of kin and cut Grandma from the loop. So while the baby was conceived out of wedlock, she will be born in wedlock.
My point is that I am still in disbelief that otherwise intelligent people can act so unintelligently. Both parties claimed they wanted no children yet they acted in every way imaginable to conceive, namely a flat refusal on her part to allow any contraception in the bedroom and his whipped willingness to comply with her irrational wishes. Yes, I gave him grief about that. My disapproval of her choices led quite predictably to her Unfriend and block of me on Facebook.
I have subsequently tried to wrap my head around the causal chain of events leading to this hysterical path of creative destruction. While each individual ultimately bears responsibility for his or her own choices, the many cultural shifts your site discusses undoubtedly contributed to the mindsets supporting the choices made in this tale. So I thank you for creating, maintaining, and growing this site. I find reading it quite therapeutic.
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