Thursday, January 12, 2012

Going to College - is it worth all the money?

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...


January 11, 2012, 5:30 pm

What Is College For? (Part 2)

...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.

This 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 to complete article

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