Life Tip #43

Seriously question whether the university is the best place to get an education.

College degrees ain’t what they used to be, folks. Even the so-called highly-educated person today isn’t truly educated, in traditional terms. On today’s college campus students learn so much specialized information in their major field of study that they aren’t getting a well-rounded liberal arts education.

Add to this the level of inanity of some of the courses available today. Consider this sampling of classes recently offered on U.S. college campuses: Philosophy and Video Games (Philosophy course); Reading Sex, Introduction to Queer Theory (English course); Spirituality and Global Warming (also somehow an English course); Happiness: A History (History course); and last but not least, Slaves, Wives, and Concubines: Did Roman Women Have a History? (History course). Yes, you can spend an entire semester pondering whether or not Roman women had a history. I have no idea what that means exactly, but for just a few thousand dollars you can find out.

Making matters worse, these courses were (and perhaps still are) being offered at Ivy League Schools. I know because I found them listed in their online course catalogs.

Perhaps worse than the courses being offered is the strong bias that today’s faculty put on every subject they teach. That and the fact that many, if not most, professors have never worked in the private sector in their lives, which I believe fundamentally skews their perspective on real life.

So, think twice about your conviction that a college degree is necessary in today’s world. Is the cost of the education worth what you get in return? Are you or your kid going to graduate $50,000 in debt, and end up working as a waitress or barista?

A diploma doesn’t make the man; the man makes the man. Or the woman.

If you can afford it, a college degree can be a wonderful thing to have. But to insist that you need a degree for a typical career path is absurd. Obviously, you need a degree to become a doctor or lawyer. But to get into management jobs, not so much. A good work ethic trumps the college degree now more than ever. Our fast-paced world is thirsty for a hard worker with a good attitude, not an entitled brat with a piece of paper.

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There are nowadays professors of philosophy, but not philosophers.

~ Henry David Thoreau

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