Thursday, October 1, 2009

Even stupid people have B.A. degrees

Well, this doesn't help my own personal cause, but I do agree with Charles Murray whose rant was published in the New York Times Magazine.
 Do Away With B.A.

Discredit the bachelor’s degree as a job credential. It does not signify the acquisition of a liberal education. It does not even tell an employer that the graduate can put together a logical and syntactically correct argument. It serves as rough and unreliable evidence of a degree of intelligence and perseverance — that’s it. Yet across much of the job market, young people can’t get their foot in the door without that magic piece of paper.

As President Obama promotes community colleges, he could transform the national conversation about higher education if he acknowledges the B.A. has become meaningless. Then perhaps three reforms can begin: community colleges and their online counterparts will become places to teach and learn without any reference to the bachelor’s degree; the status associated with the bachelor’s degree will be lessened; and colleges will be forced to demonstrate just what their expensive four-year undergraduate programs do better, not in theory but in practice.

Murray is the W. H. Brady scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and the author of ‘‘Real Education: Four Simple Truths for Bringing America’s Schools Back to Reality.’’


Anonymous said...

I too agree 100% with the article. In my high school year book the saying under my picture is, "Education can and will never replace common sense and experience."

I began mowing lawns when I was 12 years old, (1971), and turned it into a sweet business by the age of 15 with 4 employees. I sold the business to one of my friends and began working at Crazy Eddies when I was 16.

After graduating high school, I attended college for 2 years and dropped out. I believed at the time, (and still do today), that it was a total waste of time. I was making more money than the professors who were trying to teach me how to make it.

There's no question that specific fields require formal & higher education, (doctors, lawyers, etc.), but a BA in anything, (in my opinion), means nothing.

The problem today is kids think that a "sheep skin" will automatically open doors. The fact is that when kids graduate today, most of them are already in debt due to school loans, and still have no real world experience.

Then there's always they typical irony that you can't get a job without experience, but how do you get experience if no one will hire you? There's no shame starting in the mail room and working your way up the ladder. There is simply no shortcut to "paying your dues," and only in rare cases will a college degree give you a shorter path to success.

In my opinion, the only way you will ever be a success in anything is to love what you do. That can't be taught!

So take some advice from a college drop out that owns 3 companies and developed a patented product that is sold nationwide...

1. Do only what you love to do.
2. Learn from your & other's mistakes in every job you have.
3. Never listen to financial planners... if they we're so smart, they wouldn't need to be working.
4. No pain, no gain... don't be afraid to start at the bottom. There's a reason why a ladder has a 1st step.
5. Just because no one has ever done it before, doesn't mean that you can't do it.
6. Don't be afraid to go against the trend. How many years did people believe the Earth was flat and the sun rotated around it?
7. Never negotiate from a position of weakness.
8. Never be intimidated by anyone because they are in a position of power.

Lastly, (it's sad but true), most people are genuinely stupid. I literally have a brain surgeon on my client list and he still can't figure out how to program his Tivo. If that's not good enough, look at the idiots who run this country whom most have a Harvard, Yale, or Princeton degree. Put any of them on a retail sales floor for a couple of months and let's see who's still standing. We all know Nancy Pelosi was stupid enough to purchase an extended warranty on her face... The guy who sold it to her is the one I'd have working for me.

Julie Jacobson said...

If you have the luxury -- as I did -- of treating college as a place to learn, then it is well worth it. But I question its value for job placement.

PaulG said...

I think we need to go back a little further and question the whole high school thing.