…we’ve gone through quite a few in the past decade: internet, real-estate, and credit bubble is about to pop. I believe the education bubble is next…
College is too expensive, and it doesn’t have the rewards anyone expects it to. Why should anyone spend 4 years and 60K to work at Enterprise rent-a-car or Target in their “manager training programs.” For Enterprise that means a college grad working for 8 dollars an hour and nearly 60 hours a week. No wonder the turn over rate for “managers in training” is so high. Why not just get the same job at Budget rent-a-car when graduating from high school?
Its not that college doesn’t teach kids what it used to, its that college has always been a facade. It was simply an excuse for why the rich “deserved” better jobs and higher pay, a “false credential.” The fact of the matter is the working and middle classes were never meant to go to college, but exploitative businessmen (i.e. Dean Crow at Arizona State) saw the opportunity to sell kids a dream (decent wage, decision based jobs, respect, and health-care) and the banks were all to ready to loan out money so they could make huge profits off of student loans (which don’t go away when someone files bankruptcy). The college degree was never a sign of merit but a sign of class.
The wasted money and time spent in college works out great for the universities, the banks, and the employers, but not the graduate. The Universities have record enrollment, the banks make lots of money, and places like Enterprise can get cheap labor, since the individual not only needs money to eat but to pay off his student loans that will most likely haunt him for many years to come (Good luck saving for a down payment on a home or ever dreaming of retiring).
This video has LOTS of problems, but over-dramatically gets the point across. The first half is ok, the second half is bullshit. It suggests simply going to trade school, which in many cases are exploitative and offer no real jobs for their graduates. The video that going to college isn’t for everyone, citing its lack of guaranteed pay off and that some people aren’t “smart” enough to make it through.
The fact of the matter is networking is what gets you a job, but that degree is in many cases the minimum requirement or you will not be able to get promoted without one. Also, it claims the bottom 40% of high school kids won’t make it through its not worth doing cause they aren’t “smart enough.” Thats bullshit, none of these degrees (other then maybe a math or physics degree) are unobtainable for the majority of people, college has a few hard moments but anyone can make it through. None of these assholes with fancy degrees are any better or any smarter then anyone else (go read Managing Elites).
Do I think people should get a degree? I don’t know. The college degree seems basically like a lotto ticket, but it at least gives you a shot at doing something interesting. Otherwise, your just accepting your fate as working or lower middle class and allowing the rich to continue this unfair economic hierarchy on the false pretense of intellectualism. The goal of college shouldn’t be to learn how to be a tool for the elite, but to simply learn. Instead of worrying about what degree will help us achieve a nice job, we should figure out how to make things better for everyone and create a society where its members are paid similar wages and share in both physical labor and the labor of the mind.
And interestingly enough countries that have high levels of educated young men and not enough decent jobs for them create situations where terrorism/violent political protest is likely to occur.