Harvard Study Says College Is Not For Everyone

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by AV8R, Feb 3, 2011.

  1. AV8R

    AV8R Active Member

    An interesting read...

    Does everyone need a college degree? Maybe not, says Harvard study. - CSMonitor.com

    "The United States can learn from other countries, particularly in northern Europe, Professor Schwartz says. In Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, and Switzerland, for instance, between 40 and 70 percent of high-schoolers opt for programs that combine classroom and workplace learning, many of them involving apprenticeships. These pathways result in a “qualification” that has real currency in the labor market."
  2. 03310151

    03310151 New Member

    In other news, water is wet.

    Not joshing you AV8R, just the article. It's sad that so many people think college is the answer for every young person coming out of high school. Some can work, go to trade school, learn on an apprenticeship, join the military, etc. Lots of productive and viable things to do other than college.
  3. Hadashi no Gen

    Hadashi no Gen New Member

    There are definitely too many people spending money on college degrees that they can not use professionally (see thread on 10 most worthless college degrees), and not enough people seeking training in skilled careers (plumbing, electrician-ing, carpentry, etc) which cost less than a BA and often offer much more financial stability.

    Not that I am really inclined to make a living ridding bathtub drains of body hair. But I do that enough daily, as it is!
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 4, 2011
  4. mattbrent

    mattbrent Active Member

    The sad part is, there are kids who think they HAVE to go to college because they've been so pressured to do so. Even kids who can't read think they have to go to college. While other countries openly encourage vocational education, we shun it. Kids are told they have to go to college to get a good job. While that might be partially true, the country needs skilled workers too, and many of them make more than I do, and I'm almost done with my second graduate degree. I just wish schools, like the one which employs me, offered more vocational courses. I love history, don't get me wrong, but it clearly isn't for everyone. And realistically, what does a plumber need to know about the Progressive Era?

  5. Hokiephile

    Hokiephile New Member

    Is education beyond high school for everyone? Probably.
    Should it be college for everyone? Probably not.
    Unfortunately, every little career field is now taught at "college" or "university." Does one really go to college to become a beautician, a secretary, a plumber, a fire fighter, a bookkeeper, a practical nurse? No, but those schools still call themselves colleges and universities.
    First thing to do, prohibit the use of the words "college" and "university" by any institution that isn't regionally accredited. Stop fooling students (and their parents) into thinking they're "going to college" when they go to that five room school in an old shopping strip to learn how to be a medical assistant or pharmacist's assistant. Those are trade schools, not colleges.
  6. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef

    Matt this made me chuckle. We ARE OPEN to vocational education, we just wrap it in a non-transferable AAS/AOS college degree program to be sure a) everyone goes to "College" b) everyone has access to student loan debt *ie establishing credit and c) those who struggle with traditional classroom learning are locked out. Can't read /write/do math above a 100 level? We have a class (or 6) for you...then we'll let you learn how to cut an onion. On the job training (still the primary method in my field) is being elbowed out by degreed line cooks. So, there is now extensive competition for the $8/hour jobs.

    I didn't fully appreciate this until I had already worked for years in an AAS program. (we have 80 such programs) Absolutely completely and totally wasting the student's money-time- and falling just short of a lie. This is a Department of Labor issue too, because the DOL apprenticeship trades are linking up with CCs to establish "degree-granting apprenticeships" I freakin STARTED one. I believed it was good. It's such a soap box for me now, and I deeply protest the direction CC are going. This is their growth segment make no mistake.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 4, 2011
  7. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Oh look, RA or no way. :rolleyes:

    So DETC accredited Harrison Middleton University with its "great books" curriculum shouldn't be called a university? That's nonsense.

  8. BlueMason

    BlueMason Audaces fortuna juvat

    Let's not make this (yet another) discussion about RA vs NA - that horse has had the defibulator on it more and then beat dead again more often and then should have been...

    I agree - College/University is NOT for everyone - it was not designed to be for EVERYONE. There are too many "educated" people out there who have degrees only to work in a field not at all related to their field of study. Parents seem to see it as a sign of success if their child goes to University - yet they don't get the "child's" opinion. Combining vocational training with regular schooling that is geared towards the vocation is a model that works - see Europe. There is a plethora of white collared, non working folk out there who would have been better off learning a trade AND making money right away - no debt - training and experience provided by the vocational school.
  9. lawrenceq

    lawrenceq Member

    I agree 100%. I think most parents push college because everybody says it is the thing to do. I'm all for a kid going to college, but I know for a fact good money can be made with a trade cert or AAS degree and OJT.
  10. BlueMason

    BlueMason Audaces fortuna juvat

    I'd like to know how many kids going off to college change majors after the first or 2nd year, and how many end up on the star-trek plan (extended mission).. all on either their parents coin or an increase in their debt. Again, the prospect of making $ at 16 while going to school and learning a trade would be beneficial for the individual as well as society as a whole (more skilled tradespeople).
  11. AV8R

    AV8R Active Member

    The humorous part of all of this, at least for me, is that it took a Harvard study to figure out that college isn't for everyone. :wink1:
  12. wmdude

    wmdude New Member

    I have to agree. College is not for everyone. I've taken classes with students who clearly should not have chosen college. Parents feel societal pressure and push their children toward college. Parents feel that if their child doesn't attend college, then other parents may look down toward them or that they didn't do a good job.

    Personally I think we need more people to go into trades. With so many going to college, at some point, there could be a shortage of these professionals. There are many talented kids that are great with their hands, but feel inferior to their "brainy" peers. Society needs to help change this perception.

    I also agree that their is a lot of confusion about trade schools. Many of these schools are utilizing "college" just for marketing purposes. They also seem to bask in using "college" to encourage students to pay outrageous fees.
  13. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

  14. eilla05

    eilla05 New Member

    For a second here I thought you were implying that education was not needed for nursing or beauticians.....lol I was like um I wouldn't want someone without knowledge to be cutting my hair or poking me with a needle! But now I see that what you really mean to say is that these programs should be called trade schools instead of full blown university or college!
  15. eilla05

    eilla05 New Member

    I think we all knew that college is not for everyone and that skilled workers are desperately needed and without them our life as we know it would cease to function honestly. Personally I feel that it takes a special person to be a waitress or a nurse aid because they honestly do most of the "dirty" work that many wouldn't make the cut at.

    As for parents pushing their children to attend college, of course they do. We have been been taught that if we want to make more money education was the way out. Education over time has come to be college. We currently put money into a Roth IRA for our son. We considered a 529 but then decided that if he did want to be a garbage man we would rather offer him them money to start his own garbage company (and no im not kidding...lol). With that said I am a big believer in at least going to a trade college or obtaining an associates degree and my son will grow up with me telling him this. If he wants to be a garbage man (sorry first thing that comes to mind) then I will support him! What it really comes down to is that parents want more for their children than they have and most often we believe or are led to believe that college is the way to do that.

    My husband has an associates degree and makes GREAT money at his job, more than I could hope to make even with the completion of my bachelors degree. Probably even my Masters for awhile and he chose not to go further in college for 2 reasons 1. he did not want student loan debt and his parents made to much for grants and 2. he really didn't enjoy school. He is considering how going back to get a few certifications but will probably never seek a bachelors.

    man I am going on and on and on.....sorry!
  16. BobbyJim

    BobbyJim New Member

    Maybe I’m reading too much into this report. But it seems that the author is familiar with Europe’s parallel education paths. European voc-tech education is not necessarily terminal, and higher awards can be achieved with further education ‘topping off’.

    In the UK, a certificate program can be topped off with further education to build a foundation degree (similar to AS/AA degree), then a BA/BS/BTech/BEng, etc.

    Our North American systems tends to be two separate education paths…. rather than possible parallel paths to further education.
  17. sjackson_ca

    sjackson_ca New Member

    Yes, this is rather amusing.

    I agree that college isn't for everyone. The decision to go should be based on the individual's abilities and goals and what the desired outcome will likely be. The traditional college experience does expose young high school graduates to situations that are difficult to duplicate in other environments - learning to live more independently (meaning away from home, parents and childhood friends) embarking on a study program and making decisions concerning how to complete it, developing relationships with other authority figures (professors, advisors, athletic coaches) and learning how to leverage their knowledge and support, and creating the opportunity to develop the discipline necessary to complete an academic program. Not everyone is capable and not everyone will want to at that point in life.

    Yes, we all need skilled workers and those who are capable of completing work in traditional trades and in fields where they can develop those skills with more hands on training.

    Either way, I think the outcome, the income or opportunity potential, needs to be commensurate with the degree of effort that went in to completing the program. And the more rigorous and lengthy the program, the greater the potential should be......and everyone know that going in no matter which path is chosen.

  18. dcb188

    dcb188 Member

    I quit high school, went in the USMC, got a GED, went on from there, got out of the military primarily because I wanted to go to college, no particular job in mind, not for more money later on, just wanted to go. So I went.
    But people here are right when they say that college is not for everyone. It's the same as anything else in life. Not everything in life is for everyone.
    Some go to college because it is expected of them, their parents are pushing them, they are pushing themselves.
    The military is a good option, for kids right out of high school. Trade schools are another. There are many options out of high school besides college.
    Prospective college students should evaluate 1. their own abilities, and 2. what they would like to do, quite independently from following this college route that their parents and society mapped out for them.
  19. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

  20. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef

    My SIL is a NYC suburb superintendent and my husband is from NYC so I like to follow their education news. If I understood the article's implications, it looks as if there might be a stronger push in the future to close the gap between the High Schools and Community Colleges. This is an interesting partnership. We have a program here called "school to work" which is an articulation at the high school level, we use the high schools as feeder programs into our culinary program. We put our CC instructors in the high schools, students get a few credits (not transferable to ANY OTHER COLLEGE just ours- gotta love that) but it's a good source of revenue for us. I wonder if we will see more of this cross-over? I'm sure our Dept of Ed would like nothing more than total and absolute control of PreK-14. Not sure where I stand. It's a desperate situation, I try not to think about it too much.

    I am, however, seriously considering putting my money where my mouth is and opening a voc-tech training center for culinary arts. No degree, just job skills. You have to ask, if so many student are NOT college read (>70%) then what are we going to do about it today? Wait for the PreK-12 to get fixed?

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