By N.S. Palmer
For the most part, higher education has been replaced by vocational training. That transition has been driven by two main factors.
First, our society puts a dollar value on everything. The “value” of higher education is measured principally by the difference in lifetime income it can produce.
Second, our society espouses the myth that everyone should have and can benefit from higher education. That results in a massive influx of students who have neither the aptitude nor the inclination to pursue traditional subjects. To serve those students, colleges and universities change their curricula to incorporate more job training.
The real “villain,” if there is one, is the irrational esteem that society gives to university degrees as a measure of personal worth. A good, honest, hard-working ditch digger with a high school diploma is just as important as a university professor with multiple doctorates. There is no need to force everyone into the “higher education” path, and we shouldn’t do it. But we do.
Copyright 2010 by N.S. Palmer. May be reproduced as long as byline, copyright notice, and URL (http://www.ashesblog.com) are included.