Today's NYT has a blog post on College and what its good for.
A friend with a PhD in physics told me a few years ago that he didn't want his kids to go to college. Yet these days it seems necessary to make enough of a living to survive - that is if you don't get laid-off...
...How, exactly, does college prepare students for the workplace? For
most jobs, it provides basic intellectual skills: the ability to
understand relatively complex instructions, to write and speak clearly
and cogently, to evaluate options critically. Beyond these intellectual
skills, earning a college degree shows that you have the “moral
qualities” needed for most jobs: you have (to put it a bit cynically),
for a period of four years and with relatively little supervision,
deferred to authority, met deadlines and carried out difficult tasks
even when you found them pointless and boring.
sort of intellectual and moral training, however, does not require
studying with experts doing cutting-edge work on, say, Homeric poetry,
elementary particle theory or the philosophy of Kant. It does not, that
is, require the immersion in the world of intellectual culture that a
college faculty is designed to provide. It is, rather, the sort of
training that ought to result from good elementary and high school
education....link to complete article