Thursday, February 19, 2015

Library Card or University Degree?

I've always been mad about tuition prices and degree dumping.  I honour the public school system to a point until it becomes unfair.
In an article by webucator founder Nat Dunn says:
Studies often compare what college graduates make compared to high school graduates. For example, this Pew Research Center article  points out that college graduates ages 25 to 32 who are working full time earn about $17,500 more per year than high school graduates of the same age. What these studies do not tell us is how well those college graduates would have done if they had decided not to go to college. In other words, is it the college education/degree that leads to higher paying jobs or is it that people who choose to go to college have more going for them, whether it be intelligence or drive or connections, already? And it is whatever that more is that leads to better paying jobs whether or not they go to college.
What if, for example, instead of going to college some high school graduates spent four years studying at the public library? Could they do as well as if at four-years of college?
Interesting question.  How many amazing on-line courses are out there? Webucator has just offered all of its courses for free to the public library system. World Science University  and Great Courses are other favorites of mine.  I've used them when homeschooling my kids and advancing my own education. I think people should always be learning, but I don't think I can soundly make a career from a seat at my local library.  I don't think employers take on-line education seriously. Sure, they should use it to motivate, and improve their staff, but when hiring they want to see your piece of paper proving how smart you are. It's a shame because I also can't afford tuition costs. 
On the other side, I am a writer.  Do I need an English Degree? No. I took all my courses on line or at conventions.  The writers I know with degrees might get paid better, but many times they are a pen for hire and don't get to chose what topic they write about.  That is not the career for me.
So sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.  It's up to you what you do with your brain. It can be used for more that just your job.
Most important I want to stress the importance of the library.  This is a place full of energy and discovery.  A place to set free your imagination and creative spirit.A place to find an answer to anything.

3 comments:

Danica Page said...

Interesting post. I'm a double-major in English, journalism and a minor in editing.

These are all trades that I could do without a degree, and yet I am a fan of a college degree. I have learned things in college that I don't think I could have learned online or out in the field.

But I hear you, tuition sucks. Thankfully I've got full-ride scholarships for my writing and haven't had to pay anything.

Good luck to you! I hope things work out for you.

Halli Lilburn said...

Danica,
Thanks for your comments. I am torn in my opinion about post secondary education. There are so many goods things about it and so many bad things at the same time. All I know for sure is I want to learn.

Sean Crawford said...

Visionary Gwen Jacobs, in her last book, Dark Ages Ahead, noted that Human Resources (in my day Personnel) used the piece of paper as a cheap screening device.

In other words, it's not to positively prove you are smart, but to negatively prove you are not a flake who would wimp out mid degree.

It occurs to me that a real, not virtual, campus would be a chance to lose some rough edges such as losing a cherished belief in homophobia or xenophobia, or pondering whether the US war on drugs should scale back to peace time like in Canada.