Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Stop the Anti-College Nonsense!!!

I keep seeing anti-college memes being shared across social media.  You know the ones?  With Jim or Jane or whoever, the silly student who is racking up ridiculous amounts of college debt, studying "worthless" subjects, and facing future unemployment...
Drawing by E (age 14)

… while their non-college friend Joe or Jack or whoever, who they happen to look down upon is working through a paid internship leading to a high wage job, and ultimate superiority over their college educated peers.

These memes annoy me, probably more than they should.  They employ straw man fallacies, setting up arguments that aren't true, but are easily ridiculed and knocked down.

I've said before that we don't believe college is for everyone.  But at the same time, a college degree can be an excellent tool for some.  It is possible to celebrate and promote one type of success without demeaning the other.

Not all college students are beer swilling, party animals.  Not all college students amass large student loans.  Not all college degrees are worthless (quite the opposite!).

Not all blue collar workers are bringing in large salaries.  Not all blue collar workers have easily found apprenticeships, or steady employment.  Not that a high salary or short-cut into the workforce are the be all and end all of life, anyway.

With that said, if you are still wondering what the purpose of a liberal arts education might possibly be, let me point you to The Modern Scholar Series: How To Think, The Liberal Arts and Their Enduring Value featuring Professor Michael D.C. Drout of Wheaton College.  Professor Drout does an excellent job defending the liberal arts.

And, while I'm on my soap box, let me add, that while a bachelor's degree might not open every door, there are some doors that will remain not only closed, but locked without one.

Along that line, I did a quick search through Wikipedia this afternoon, and found that of our fifty governors currently serving, all have had some college, all but two (from Missouri and Utah) have at least a bachelor's degree, and thirty of them hold graduate level degrees.

Do you have to have a college degree in order to become the governor of your state?  Apparently not.  Will it help?  It just might.

So, before you click a "like" on one those ridiculous, anti-college memes, or even worse - a "share", please stop and consider, that while college might not be for you, it can be for others.  I for one would like to have well educated doctors, architects, engineers, judges, and even teachers living in this country in the future, every bit as much as I hope to be able to find well-trained plumbers, carpenters, and appliance repairmen.  In fact, I wouldn't mind having a nice variety of any of those within or own family.

It's great to be a homeschooler.


Joyful Learner said...

Amen! I haven’t come across any anti-college memes but I can see why some might be tempted to forego it because of the rising costs and lack of job opportunities. We need an educated public and having majority forego college education in America while other countries continuing to advance might signal a major problem in the future.

As for having a variety of skill set within a family would make that family self-sufficient! I always thought it would be nice to have a contractor, doctor, engineer, dentist, plumber, lawyer, computer programmer, educator, etc. within our network of family friends.

Dawn said...

Well written. What separates us ~ conquers us. I haven't seen these anti-college memes. However, anything that needs to insult others or make generalizations is ridiculous. No one in our family is currently considering more than a 2 year degree. We don't want to see our children go into great debt unless they truly need a 4 or 6 year degree to pursue their dreams. With that in mind, we have given them the most well rounded education that we could and encourage them to question, argue and read from many sources so they can be excellent thinkers. That is what my 4 year degree did for me more than anything else.
Blessings, Dawn

Ticia said...

I think the anti-college memes show a point of frustration for many. There's a good number of blue-collar workers who've been shamed for their lack of college degree, and are frustrated. I think there's also frustration with the rising prices, the current scandals, and the overwhelming push for every kid, regardless of aptitude to go to college.

That being said, I do see your point. I find them amusing, but I like sarcasm and get amused by many things that may not always be appropriate/correct (not quite the right word, but the closest I could think of to describe what I wanted to say).

Natalie PlanetSmarty said...

I haven't encountered anti-college memes on my feeds, which is probably reflective of my circle of friends and location in Silicon Valley. My beef is more with the idea that everyone needs to be pushed to college no matter what a young person's personal strengths are - this push creates a lot of frustration in local high schools.

Anonymous said...

I”m late to this game…..just now finding your blog but I couldn’t love this more!!! I’m SO over all the anti-college garb. How about we just stop and celebrate education in any form!? My son chose to go to college and he’s an ‘A’ student and excelling and having a fabulous time. He loves it. He’s a quick learner and knows more about most any subject than I probably ever will. I think most people poking fun at or poo-pooing college kids are probably feeling less than or looked down on or maybe even a ashamed that they either couldn’t cut the mustard at a college attempt, or they just simply chose not to go (which by the way, is perfectly fine!). All in all, I, as hopefully any parent, want only the best for my child. I want him to be happy, healthy, respectful and a responsible member of society. I’m proud of him working hard to obtain a college degree and I know it will serve him well. I know he will be afforded some opportunities that others may not, based solely on the fact that he has a degree in a particular field. HOWEVER, I also know that there are plumbers, electricians, mechanics, etc. that started working right out of high school and are earning a living and making their own way in life and I’m so very thankful for them as well. I know that if my son decided to change directions and wanted to do something in one of those fields, he’d still have to study it, learn new skills, gain insight, etc. So in summary, it’s beyond me why we can’t celebrate all learning and just know that everyone has been blessed with a gift or a talent and instead of knocking those who choose higher education, give thanks that the opportunity to learn is always there, however it is!!!