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Old 6th May 2011, 03:49 AM   #1
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Default The university has no clothes

I really enjoyed reading this article from NY magazine. Its a bit long, but worth persevering with. Those who've seen 'The Social Network' might remember Peter Thiel, who is one of the co-founders of PayPal.

How the Notion That a College Degree Is Essentially Worthless Has Become One of the Year's Most Fashionable Ideas -- New York Magazine
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Old 6th May 2011, 05:44 AM   #2
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Yeaaaaah, about that article: Altschuler has a degree in Computer Science and Thiel studied at Stanford.

I went back to school after years of doing live sound to polish my engineering chops, learned stuff I never even dreamed existed - plus I found a passion for economics. University was good to me, so these guys are quite wrong as far as my experience goes.
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Old 6th May 2011, 05:44 AM   #3
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it is a good read. quite a lot of truth in there. (w/ a grain of salt?) Indeed it's interesting and a bit scary...

one could draw many parallels and connections from this 'epidemic' to so many other economic, social, and political issues...
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Old 6th May 2011, 05:52 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSP_Geek View Post
Yeaaaaah, about that article: Altschuler has a degree in Computer Science and Thiel studied at Stanford.

I went back to school after years of doing live sound to polish my engineering chops, learned stuff I never even dreamed existed - plus I found a passion for economics. University was good to me, so these guys are quite wrong as far as my experience goes.
But you are a prime example of what they are saying. They don't say no one should go to college. I'll bet those "years of doing live sound" gave you a great perspective.

The issue is primarily with the push that everyone should go straight away. There are other options. (esp. think of the liberal arts?)

Another aspect would be the argument that we need to improve our primary education system. Make high school better. Help "kids" figure out what they should do and give them better tools instead of just spout that everyone should go to university? No?

Those who want to go by all means should. Certainly scientists and technical professions will still require the training, but there are many paths.
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Old 6th May 2011, 06:02 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by eclectic2k View Post
But you are a prime example of what they are saying.
Indeed They even mention in the article the argument 'against' their thesis which goes 'they just want to deny others the fun they had for themselves'.

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... but there are many paths.
Quite - that's the gist of the message to me.
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Old 6th May 2011, 11:54 AM   #6
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Do we have a false dichotomy here: "Everyone should go to college" vs. "College degrees are worthless"? Some should go to college, but probably many fewer than actually do nowadays. Some college degrees probably are worthless.

I am only familiar with the UK system, but the problem we have is that so-called Higher Education is far too often almost indistinguishable from Further Education, which itself may be little more than a combination of some trade skills plus remedial education to make up for what the secondary schools failed to do. True HE would/should only be accessible to a small minority, say 10-15% but they should be chosen on merit not parental income. Many more would benefit from true high quality FE, but that seems to have almost disappeared. In the past FE was highly regarded but poorly funded. People leave 'HE' in the UK and they are less literate/numerate/educated than school leavers of 30 years ago. We have conned an entire generation: they go to a place which calls itself a university, they spend 3 years as a 'student' without doing much serious study, then leave with a piece of paper which calls itself a degree certificate. They come down to earth with a bump and end up flipping burgers or working in a call centre. We then congratulate ourselves on having an 'educated workforce'.
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Old 6th May 2011, 01:33 PM   #7
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While higher education is not a panacea we all certainly want individuals with the highest caliber education and skills before they engineer our airplanes, cars, bridges, etc or perform surgery on our hearts or brains. While all fields involve learning as you go there are some where the initial skills to begin hands-on need to be superior.
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Old 6th May 2011, 08:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DF96 View Post
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well put DF96.

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airplanes, cars, bridges, etc or perform surgery on our hearts or brains.[...]need to be superior
Certainly. Those are still a relatively small % though in terms of the general population...
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Old 7th May 2011, 09:39 AM   #9
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Default ...and manufacturers have no skilled labor?

Third, the U.S. education system isn't turning out enough people with the math and science skills needed to operate and repair sophisticated computer-controlled factory equipment
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Old 16th May 2011, 12:58 AM   #10
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College Conspiracy - YouTube

The vid is nicely put together but they rather over-egg their pudding. Also ignore the shameless plug at the end
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