Thursday, March 11, 2004

Most of Us Shouldn't Be Here

March 11, 2004

Higher education is not for everyone. This is an idea that is losing popularity these days, and people increasingly believe that everyone has the right to at least some public financial aid with college.

Now, I want to say right at the outset that I have no problem with financial aid whatsoever; I receive TOPS, and it's a large part of the reason I'm still in-state. Most of us, though, are here for the wrong reasons.

There's a belief that employers have a preference for college graduates in the workplace, but a lot of college grads end up in positions that have very little to do with their degrees. The average graduate paper-pusher in a corporate office learns the argot and customs of the business world by being there, and the specifics of the paperwork are not something taught in NSU's Microsoft Contract Processing 101.

To all the Liberal Arts, English and Psychology majors out there, what are you really going to do with your degree? Do you feel like it's going to make you better as a person? Are you enjoying your time here? How many of the other applicants will have the same degree? A better degree? We've become tied up in measuring things exclusively in the terms of the bureaucracy rather than looking at the merits the bureaucracy was designed to foster.

Graduate school is even beginning to lose its luster in the face of Ph.D.s of Underwater Basket Weaving and Masters of Drunken Boxing. So in the face of these dismal facts, why am I here? Because law school won't take me without a bachelor's. So you see why I'm somewhat annoyed with the emphasis on higher education: it doesn't really mean much anymore, and it's getting between me and actually studying a trade. College has become a party culture, a symbol of young adulthood, adventure, freedom, the whole nine yards of mid-life crisis retrospection, and it's just assumed on both sides of the hiring fence that the average college graduate is more prepared for the workplace than the average non-grad.

If you think you should be here, e-mail me at


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