Most of us know that the US education system is lacking and our higher education system is basically a business that puts young adults into debt that ruin their lives well into their 30s.

My sister is beginning her journey with thousands of other bushy tailed wide-eyes graduates. How can higher education options be adjusted to be better balanced and more beneficial to those who invest in it? Do we care or is this just the way things are? How has the situation changed over the past 40 years?

Thoughts?




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  1. Lucifer Rising 2 years ago

    Well, as it stands, it is entirely a mess. One country, think it is Norway, has a system where people pay what they can on it, according to their earnings.

    I think, in general, the educational system is terrible. Kids come out of twelve some odd years of school without even having real job qualified skills.

    No small problem there is the superrich. For instance, those who control the biggest tech companies is one example, where they have been doing all they can to get their labor as cheap as humanly possible. Which means no American workers, but Indian, Chinese, and so on.

    Why? Money. And many industries are the same way.

    Could, say, people literally be taught how to program in high school, and come out of high school with software development skills? Yes. Of course.

    Do they? No. Of course not.

    Why is the “superrich” the problem? Well, the biggest companies have the most powerful lobbiests. That is why.

    Be that a technology company, a car company, anything.

    And they do not want American workers, when they can pay a pittance to foreign workers and provide themselves and shareholders with excessive cash for things far beyond their basic needs.

    Should CEOs be well paid? I think so. Open economy is natural, and provides competition. I am certain I could be very rich, but why bother? All that matters is happiness. If I am more happy then a billionare, why would I strive to make a ton of money?

    Put another way: the real fix should be to completely revamp schooling, throwing out the very need for higher education, or at least, including it for free for all citizens.

    But… where is the money for those high priced skilled Americans going to come from?

    The whole world is f’d up, as long as people are often primarily motivated only by materialistic greed. The roots, that is, of the problem, run very, very deep indeed.

    My humble opinion.

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  2. eric 2 years ago

    Apprenticeships.

    Not sure what field your sister is going into, but there is a good chance that a traditional college experience won’t be necessary for whatever career she inevitably finds herself. Unless they want to ‘discover themselves.’

    What I think changed over the past 40 years is that college went from being about learning to a way for kids to continue the high school experience while also delaying the inevitable soul-crushing experience of adult life. Not that this is true for everyone, but I feel that colleges all across the country now offer a lot more than just a degree. Such as amenities, extracurricular groups, and organizations, all manner sports and recreation, etc. This stuff adds to the cost of tuition, administration, etc.

    In the adult world, you can find these activities and groups for a lot less and pay for them with the money you get with each paycheck.

    But the fix isn’t simply education – though eliminating 70% (guessing) of fields of study alleviates the issue of excessive debt for many people. The issue is that it would be on businesses to teach people. Few are equipped for this or don’t want.

    I could see a situation where (unsubstantiated example) an 18-year-old leaves high school with the desire to go into accounting.

    In this situation, they have little to no experience in regards to professional accounting (high schools could theoretically expand on this giving the options for online education), so they go out and find a company that is hiring someone like them.

    With a 4-year degree, an accounting firm might expect to pay $40K for an entry level hire. However, the person has no education, so the company offers this person $20-25K.

    So, the company sits the person down and says here are some online course you must complete and pass with an 80%, plus you will work with me and other people to get up to speed. You have 6 weeks to do this job with little to no oversight. If you don’t succeed, they fire your ass.

    If you do succeed, then after 1 year you salary jumps 5K. You also get benefits. Then another 5k each year after. So after 4 years, the company is paying 40K for someone, but that someone is now a thoroughly competent and useful accountant, as opposed to a debt-ridden know nothing with a bachelor.

    As the company, I got someone do a job for a lot less. Also, I could cap their pay at $30K and just say, if you want more, there are plenty of businesses that don’t want to teach you, but since I took care of that, they will hire you for $40K. The business then goes and gets another person for $20-25K and does this all over again. The only crux is that 6 weeks of downtime, though that may be worth the lower expense.

    Adding to that, if they want to go into another apprenticeship after a period because they don’t like accounting, not only do they not have education debt, but they don’t feel like they will have to go back to school for 4 or more year, then start entry level and spend more time to get experience.

    Anyway, all that to say that I’m not finding there to be a lot of evidence that higher education offers much regarding value at the professional level. It might help with socializing and ‘becoming a unique snowflake,’ but if you need loans and you rack up a ton of debt, I think you can be a snowflake without paying that much.

    People that still need an education, like maybe those in the STEM fields, I would anticipate pay better because they went to school so that the debt might be less of an issue.

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  3. Jear77 2 years ago

    In this day and age, education in a public institution is kinda meaningless, for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, there’s the point that grade, Jr High, & High School are all a joke which punishes people for not being able to sit still and be quiet, then when a person gets out into the “real” world they expect the selfsame people to be loquacious, and be strong for labor, able to work with others, etc. Add to this fact that quite a lot of education is being shifted to online courses, many of which are free or low cost for almost anyone to afford. Then there’s the point that “standard” schooling doesn’t allow one to shape one’s own education. So I think the solution is simple: create free programs for themselves starting in grade school, to allow children to be able to adjust the curriculum to their own interests (outside some “core” classes mind you). This idea would be further specialized in which a person can get the education they want, without things they simply don’t want or need.

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  4. Thomas 2 years ago

    I think our education system is designed to prepare students to compete in the market place, e.g. compete for jobs, for ranks, for positions etc…But my greatest satisfactions haven’t come about through competition but instead through cooperation.

    We need to teach our kids not so much to complete but rather to cooperate.

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