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Random thoughts by Frank Didik on science, business and society today

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On Education

 Should everyone go to college?

Should everyone go to college or university? My answer is that probably most people should not go to college. But this is a very complex topic that goes to the heart of every persons desire to achieve a higher place in society. The mass media constantly shows people who have achieved monetary success and or fame, and at the same time presents non-college occupations as something of less value and less importance. In the past, college was something for one of two categories of people. Either the children of wealthy families or people who wanted to go into the professional fields. The wealthy people, who in most cases in the past, were trained at home by the best tutors, went to college to broaden their understanding of the world. Somewhat later, certain groups of people started sending their children to college for the purpose of entering into professional fields. Today, these professional fields, such as accounting, engineering, law, medical and similar, are protected and restricted through a licensing structure. The question that I have is why would a person from a non wealthy family attend college and study a field that has little chance in helping them start their own business or has little chance in helping them get a job working for someone else? Further, many people today continue after four years of under graduate college, to get a masters degree or even a doctorate, again in a field that will not assist them in the future. From what I have observed, much of the first four years of college is a repetition of what the student learned or should have learned, if they were studying, in high school, with little more advanced information. Here in New York City, I run into many people every day who have obtained master degrees in fields that have very limited job opportunities, working "temporarily" as waiters, waitresses, construction, sales persons and similar. These people often blame the economy or politics or other reasons, for their perceived lack of a job in the field that they studied in. The fact is that they probably should not have gone to college in the first place. They probably are working in the field that they are most qualified in. I wonder why undergraduate fields always require four years to complete. For example, art, photography, film making, physics, math, sociology, all fields are always four year programs. Why? Should not certain fields, such as math or physics, be perhaps six year programs, while perhaps fields such as art and film making should not be taught in college at all, but instead people wishing to enter into those fields should go into an apprenticeship program of a person known the that field. It would seem that college often times has the effect of holding a person back by a number of years, before they go out and try to make their mark on the world.


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This page is from November 12, 2015, though is based on thoughts by Frank Didik dating back many years.