Thingish Things

The Educational Industrial Complex

Written By: William F. B. O'Reilly - Jun• 28•11

David Indiviglio pens an interesting piece in The Atlantic this week questioning the college bubble from the employer side.  He wonders if college degrees are necessary for jobs where they clearly are not. Indiviglio argues that ubiquitous college degrees degrade the value of degrees themselves and artificially fuel the higher education industry. (I wrote a piece on that a few months back.)

He writes: “a college degree has become a proxy for determining whether a job applicant has a minimum level of intelligence necessary to perform a job. But with many private college educations exceeding $120,000 these days, that’s a pretty expensive means for identifying adequate intelligence.”

In other words, employers only care to know where a job applicant could get in. For my youngest child, that will come at an estimated price tag of a half million dollars.

Virtually everything I do professionally I learned from on-the-job training.  That math I didn’t think I’d use?  I don’t. Ever. And sure, Plato’s Cave and Montesquieu’s reflections inform me, but they are available at Amazon for $3.99.

I’m not going to stop saving for my daughter’s education — I want her to have her four years at Yale — but I can’t help questioning, like Indiviglio, where the college cost madness will stop. We are all getting taken for a ride.

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