The Issues with College

college life

Source: Not Pauciloquent (Lucy Walcott)

“In the next 30 years more people worldwide will be graduating through education than since the beginning of history… suddenly degree’s aren’t worth anything.” (Ken Robinson)

When I was in high school, my teachers hounded the class about taking notes and paying attention. “Wait until you get into college” they would say. Making college out to be this strict, educational utopia which taught you hard to find information and prepared you for the real world. When I got to college it appeared more lax than high school was. Probably because even as a full-time student, you went to college for only about 12 hours a week. Compared to 40 hours a week in high school.

I barely had papers due, and tests were just like in high school: scantron tests. It was kinda like I was spending so much money a semester to do my self-research at the library, which I spent about 8 hours a week reading through every book on topics I was interested in and taking tons of notes for enjoyment that I didn’t have to do for school.

If I was going to get a degree, I would like to get one in psychology. According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of 2010, there is 174,000 jobs in psychology. Sounds promising! Where do I sign up? But hold on a second, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, in the 2010-2011 school year alone, nearly 101,000 people got a bachelors in psychology, 25,000 got their Masters, and almost 6000 got their doctorates. And this number will only rise.

Psychology jobs are only thought to increase by only about 36,000 in the next 10 years. This career path does not seem very feasible to me, especially when I consider that my only desire to have such a degree would be to write books on psychology and do the same thing I am doing now. Just with debt!

But would it make me more credible as a writer to simply have a degree? More viewership and increased opportunities due to simply having a sheet of paper that states I am qualified to apply for certain niche competitive jobs?

A degree is only meant to serve as a tool to qualify for a certain job market. Having a degree does not automatically ensure intelligence, advanced knowledge of a subject, or expertise in the field. In fact, there are numerous people who have a degree who use their degree to spout biased nonsense that they claim as correct.

For example, sociologist Dr. Paul Cameron has a PhD in Psychology, so he has knowledge and expertise, right? Well, no. He was kicked out of the APA, the ASA, and the NPA for “consistently misinterpret[ing] and misrepresent[ing] sociological research on sexuality, homosexuality, and lesbianism” But… he has a PhD.

In the same breath we have the numerous biologists, astronomers, and geologists who preach up and down that Creationism is a fact and that the theory of evolution is dogma forced down kids throats. They generally believe that the earth was formed 6000 -<1,000,000 years ago, despite almost every other expert concluding otherwise. But many of these biologists, astronomers, and geologists have PhD’s and Masters in their field.

So simply having a degree does not seem to mean that someone has intellectual or knowledge superiority over someone without a degree.

About 20% of students are drifting through college (Declining by degrees). Which means they are not learning much, if anything, and doing the bare minimum to get their degree. Which means that they do not earn much in the lines of knowledge, and they still have to deal with a mountain of debt and lack of work experience when they are done. Basically spending tons of money on a completely useless sheet of paper that says they know something when they don’t.

Just like in High School, most of what you learn in college does not stick. Especially because you are forced to take many classes that you don’t need for your career path. These classes are a waste of time, a waste of money, and just bore a lot of students.

Due to this lack of engagement, many students are simply being passed through classes, or pass classes with a low enough grade. Most students retain information until they can expel it on a test, and then forget about it.

Many college students don’t care. They pass with low grades but high enough to get into the next college and get a degree. Some really do focus, but they do because they got into debt for the class, or else paid out of pocket. Let’s not forget about students who have to fail a class and take it a second or third time. These classes cost hundreds of dollars per class, and every failed class is a waste of money.

Many students are taking classes they are not interested in because they are told that they have to take that class in order to get a degree and succeed in life. No matter how advanced they are in any subject, they still need a certain amount of credits in that subject to get a degree. Many students don’t have a clue what they want to do when they grow up, so they get a random degree in the hopes that it will somehow help them get a higher paying job.

This is an except from a 27 page PDF I wrote. You can buy the whole short E-book here if you want to.