Did you ever hear the story of the Emperor who has no clothes? Basically the Emperor is fooled into believe he is wearing beautiful clothes and no one is willing to tell him he is naked. It’s not until he goes out into the streets that a child sees him and points out what everyone knows but is too afraid to say.
I feel like that when it comes to the topic of college. Everyone tells you it’s important. As a parent I prepared my children early on that college wasn’t just an option it was just a fact of life that they would go.
Now that I have two in college I hate to admit it but after seeing the schools they have attended (very well respected schools) and the courses they have taken, I feel like I have been sold a bill of goods.
I work in business and I know the reality that a diploma is a requirement for most jobs and definitely if you want to climb the corporate ladder.
But the education process I have seen up close is one that is designed to make schools profit and waste my hard earned cash. Students take required courses in things that in no way will prepare them for what I know they will face in corporate America.
I felt slightly vindicated last week when I read an article in the Wall Street Journal from Scott Adams, who is the creator of the Dilbert comics. He said what I have felt for a long time.
There are kids that will benefit from engineering, physics, calculus and Art History. They will use these classes and make real contributions. But there is another group of students that would really benefit from courses in things like entrepreneurship. Teach them about finance, marketing and how to negotiate with people. These are the everyday skills they will need in their careers.
I know colleges aren’t about to change their required courses, especially when they have teachers on staff in certain subjects that they are paying, so they need to put students in those classes. But I can at least take some solace in hearing another voice in the crowd who agrees with me that colleges do take advantage of the fact that businesses prefer candidates with college degrees. This fact puts our children at the mercy of the college, and they will continue to be forced to take courses they don’t need just to satisfy the school’s financial obligations.
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