5 unpleasant things worth knowing about American colleges
When parents and teachers urge children to go to college, they draw in their imaginations the perfect picture: a child who passes all subjects on time gets high scores - and the road to success in adulthood is open for him.
But in reality, the situation with higher education in the US is far from being so rosy. Edition The New York Post gathered 5 unpleasant facts about American colleges based on the book by George Mason University professor of economics Brian KaplanThe Case Against Education "
1. Most students do not finish college on time, and a significant portion never get a diploma.
Since the main purpose of investing money in college is to get a diploma, and not just an opportunity to attend classes for several years, the child’s decision to drop out of school can be compared to a business failure. In both cases, you sacrifice years of savings and labor, but as a result you end up with nothing.
And although students with low grades at school sometimes become very successful college students, such cases are extremely rare. In education, as in life, the past is the best predictor of the future. For example, you can take high school students who have low grades in mathematics (students entering 25% with the lowest academic achievement in the subject). Currently, almost half of them try their hand at college; but, according to statistics, a diploma receives only 1 from 9 of such students.
The chosen specialty is also an indicator of the student’s future success. People who have earned degrees in engineering, computer science, finance, and economics get good salaries, but people with degrees in art, philology, history, or sociology earn almost 2 times less.
The funds spent on education and the availability of a diploma do not correspond to a low salary - therefore, they do not always pay off the investment.
In addition, students with low academic performance in college often work as waiters, cashiers, and cooks after completing it, although they could easily get these positions right after school without spending any time and money on college.
2. Most study programs are neither socially beneficial nor enjoyable for students.
Schools teach some of the skills that are required in almost any job, in particular the ability to write and read. But many college students will never use much of what they teach in the future. We are talking about courses in history, social studies, foreign languages, higher mathematics, art and music. Of course, in the plans of colleges there are many subjects that are related to the immediate specialty of the student, but sometimes attention to their study is scattered due to the need to study history, literature, sociology and communication.
Of course, as a last resort, if you cannot find work in your specialty, you can become a tutor in these subjects, if you studied well, but, you see, this is not what most of the students dream of.
Supporters of the current approach to education defend this system, emphasizing that college is not only preparing a person for work, but also enriching his knowledge, increasing the general level of erudition.
But this goal is achieved in practice extremely rarely. Studies have found that the majority of students are bored in the classes on general subjects, and many do not attend them at all. After graduating from college, only a few graduates devote a small part of their leisure to abstract ideas or high culture. Learning should not bring only pleasure, but if a significant part of it is neither pleasant nor useful, then it is just throwing money down the drain.
3. The "hidden benefits" of college are basically wishful thinking
Many students often think about it, and when is trigonometry useful in real life? To which the teachers respond that the main purpose of studying various subjects is to teach students to think and analyze using techniques from different fields.
But studies have shown that the amount of information about the schemes and methods of analysis develop into the ability of a person to independently use this knowledge in practice extremely rarely.
Teachers usually hope that after several years of study in the minds of their students, something will click at last, and they will be able to systematize in their heads and apply in life everything that teachers put into their heads. However, the typical result of training is that all information and knowledge that is not used regularly by a person is quickly forgotten and there is no benefit left from them.
In order to get a job in any field and become successful, the knowledge and skills necessary for it must be regularly practiced. The pilot should constantly fly, not read about flying, and the obstetrician should give birth instead of reading or hearing about the different methods and stages of this process.
4. The higher the level of education in society, the more difficult it is for each worker to find a job.
Most of what students learn in college is not applicable at work. But high marks are a sign that a person will be a responsible and quality worker. Regardless of how irrelevant your specialty is for this particular company, high academic performance is a great way to convince employers that you are smart and hardworking.
At first glance, this is not bad, but the higher the level of education the average worker in the country has, the higher the level of education employers will require from each applicant.
Historical data proves it and at the same time amaze with unexpected figures. Nearly half of top managers born from 1900 to 1907 a year have never attended college. But only 13% of those born from 1964 to 1970 a year do not have a higher education.
While the “average” job today is a little more intelligent than similar jobs 40 years ago, the major shift in the job market is that you now need college to get the same jobs that your parents or grandparents might have gotten. without a higher education diploma.
5. Thanks to government subsidies, the structure of the education system will not change soon.
Can online education become a threat and result in the abandonment of traditional colleges? It is highly unlikely for two reasons. Firstly, higher education is widely supported at all levels of government. Every year, the higher education sector receives over 300 billions of dollars from the budget. When consumers get a standard product at heavily subsidized rates, we should not be surprised if they do not hunt for full-value substitutes too vigorously.
Secondly, the students' readiness to receive traditional higher education signals their readiness to submit to social expectations. One of the most rooted expectations in American society is precisely the belief in the need for college. Parents, teachers and peers strengthen, constantly support and cultivate this idea, starting from preschool institutions. Therefore, online education cannot be a substitute for a college, since the student who chooses it will signal its inconsistency and this will cause a condemnation of a significant number of members of society.
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