With a kid that is graduating high school this year and going through this gauntlet, I can not stress how much I agree with the article titled our universities must stop charging so much, delivering so little and sending our kids into lifelong debt and the lessons it is imparting. Lets take a look here:
Universities charge too much, deliver too little and channel too many students into a lifetime of debt. Genuine reform requires market disciplines be brought to bear on those abuses.
Overall, college graduates in America still earn more and are less likely to be unemployed than their peers who never get a college degree. However, with so many recent graduates serving cappuccino and treading water in unpaid internships after graduation, a four-year diploma is not quite the solid investment it once was, and should not be so-often viewed as such a necessity by society.
Since 2007-08, the average pay for recent four-year graduates has fallen nearly 5 percent, while the average earning of a typical American worker, as tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is up 10 percent.
Graduates in high demand sectors can still earn good starting salaries and expect rising earnings as experience grows, but in many majors they increasingly face market conditions that have bedeviled skilled manufacturing workers for decades—there are simply too many folks chasing too few jobs.
Where to start. At the beginning I guess. College simply costs too much these days, and as the article points out, it delivers way too little in return. With the exception of a very few specialized degrees and fields of study, it is a horrible investment at the current costs, even if we are talking community or state schools. And the argument can be made that even for these fields that provide successful graduates with a much higher chance to make decent living and pay off their debt, the cost is still ridiculously high. Attending any degreed program at the elite schools? They are insane! Putting yourself into $125K of debt for a medical, engineering, business, or, to some extent a law degree, which is starting to lose its luster if you listen to the powers that be these days, makes some sense. But doing that for history, practically every “studies” degree, or something insane like French poetry of the 13th century that at best qualifies you to ask people at the drive through if they want fires with that or to upsize? You must be a masochist and crazy to boot.
I don’t even want to go too deep into how I believe, and based on the data and the people I have interacted with I think I am dead-on, that most degrees today amount to nothing more than years of lefty indoctrination and pretending lefty feelings and soft-core ideology masquerading as science, that basically cause more harm for the poor victims when they hit the real world outside the usual lefty bastions than it is worth. We have an army of fools that think just their degree, and in too many cases even those that couldn’t complete their college work at all, entitles them to a high paying job and a fast track to the top. After all, they know the right lingo and want to change the world! They have been told that they are special so often, for accomplishing nothing but the basics, that they have no clue what special really means. And racking up all that debt that amounts to something like a mortgage for a degree that leaves them ill prepared for the real world? They all believe that will soon be rolling in the dough as promised. Fucking idiots the lot of them. Who cares about how much debt they rack up? They certainly don’t seem to worry about it. At least until it is too late. And then they want government to bail them out for being idiots. Reality, lucky for those of us that have to function outside the ivory towers, has a quick way of correcting that bias, or at least of punishing it harshly, though. Some make it, but these are rather the exception than the rule, and that lesson needs to be hammered home. A degree for a degree’s sake, isn’t worth spit.
I think the biggest lies told to kids today are the one about how college will guarantee them a better future and/or how they should pursue whatever their dream is, regardless of cost and consequences. The truth is that certain fields of study and certain colleges do pay off. But those tend to be the fields where you seriously need to bust your ass to succeed. All nighters to produce papers about the evil of patriarchy or how America is evil because of whatever idiotic rationale, may score you big points and high grades with the marxist pretending to be teaching you something of value and feel like work, but you are just kidding yourself. And getting into the top colleges is also not something you do unless you are at the top of your game, or already come from legacy that can get you in over others (some more qualified, and others just entitled). And we do our kids a disservice when we, in order to avoid hurting their self esteem, refrain from telling our kids that not everyone can pull this off. Try as they might, the reality is that people have different skill sets and motivation levels, and no study program anywhere can make a slow and lazy SOB succeed at mastering the skills needed to work in some of the more complex disciplines. Just like we do them a disservice when we tell them to follow their dreams without pointing out that what they dream of doing isn’t going to leave them prepared to join the real world and find a decent paying job. Doubly so when they rack up insane debt getting there. They will pay for the rest of their lives for those dreams. A well rounded education could provide value, but these days the challenge is to actually find a well rounded education instead of what passes for that but is primarily a dysfunctional leftist propaganda mill.
I had a long chat with my kid. We discussed college, his capabilities and limitations, the cost, and most important of all, making sure he got a skill set that would allow him to make a decent living without hocking his future to do so. The first thing he was concerned about, probably because he was well aware of my career in IT and the stories of so many people that suffered as jobs where outsourced or done away with, was viability of the job he would do. He also wanted to avoid debt of any kind, as much as possible. We put a plan together, and then a back up plan for if that falls through. I helped him do that with an eye on making sure he ends up being productive and able to work and make a decent living while targeting his strength in such a way that it would result in a valuable skill set. I wonder how many parents actually have the tough talk and make sure their kids knows that they are not interested in making college a 4, or more, year party for their kids, primarily because they would then be doing said kids a huge disservice. Most of them are likely as ill informed as their kids about the cost-return ratio.
Colleges are now glut with “free money” that is far from being free, giving loans to people that should have never gotten them – just like they did during the big socio-engineered housing market debacle – and returning in all but a few specialized cases far too little for the insane costs. This model can, and should, simply not survive. And this brings us back to the gist of the article:
Well run institutions—which seriously evaluate and become transparent about the prospects for a decent enough paying job after majoring in art history vs. mechanical engineering—would have little problem getting private underwriters to help them finance such ventures.
Schools that take students money and deliver too little for it, would then go the way of Circuit City and the St. Louis Browns, and stop blighting the futures of young people.
Online education, baby! Interactive classes that do more than spout bullshit leftist concepts, cost less than $10K for a degree that is less liberal propaganda, fluff, and a lot more about inculcating a skill set that employers would actually find value in and want. And a system that is reality based and no longer sells the young a huge lie so liberals can funnel more sheep through the indoctrination machine. That’s what we need. Some degrees will unavoidably require colleges maintain the models we have today, but the ones that are disproportionately populated by and intended to be liberal propaganda machines are going to all take a hit. Or at least they should. And everyone should be thought basic economics, the constitution – the real stuff those dead white slave owners they now are thought to despise by the leftards and how it made this nation great – and that you need to actually do the work before you get the rewards. You are not entitled just for showing up. This is not little league, where everyone gets a trophy just for showing.
The quicker the current college model implodes and gets replaced with something that adds more value and costs a lot, lot less, the better it will be for our kids. Not to mention that it will do away with the indoctrination machine that has done so many people a huge disservice for the last 30 years. The left won’t let that happen without a fight though. They don’t really much care if these useful idiots get jobs or not, are not straddled with insane, life crushing, and binding debt, as much as they care that these institutions crank out more drones for the movement.
UPDATE: Looks like other people are also getting wise that the current system < a href="http://news.yahoo.com/moodys-now-negative-outlook-u-universities-153241853.html" target="_new">is not ging to get better the way it exists today.