Flutterby™! : The Value of Education

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The Value of Education

2001-05-07 17:54:30+00 by Dan Lyke 3 comments

So now that I'm looking about for a job, I'm talking with various people about life and work. And occasionally I'll get questions over some spaces in my formal education. This generally isn't an issue, 'cause my resume is fairly strong, but the interesting thing is that everyone who sees value in formal education says they see a college degree as an indication of someone's willingness to do the shit jobs and the busy work. Even in that huge thread over on Hack The Planet (you have been warned) most of the pro-High School arguments were of the "it teaches you how to conform" argument. My answer to the folks looking to hire me is generally "If you've got politics that bad your company isn't long for the world anyway", and that if that's what they want they should look to my year and a half running a stat camera and swinging boxes in a print shop as their benchmark, but my question to them, and to the world at large, is: Where are we going as a society when dealing with shit jobs and make-work, rather than instilling a passion for learning and knowledge, is the primary function of our educational system?

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comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:31:39+00 by: ebradway

For some reason, I am reminded of dining experiences at places like the Golden Corral. The food's not that great but they make up for it by letting eat as much as you want. Generally, I don't want to eat any of it!

I get comments in interviews about not being completion oriented - but the truth is I complete things that should be completed and don't have a problem with walking away from something that is a waste of time. That's why I tend to do better in software development, especially games, than I do with big companies where the work never real ends.

I'm not willing to endure a bad job, boring classes, or bad food. What the school system encourages in the opposite - endure bad teachers, endure cafeteria food, endure four years of college, all so you can endure a boring job.

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:31:39+00 by: other_todd

Um, I'm just playing devil's advocate here, so take this with a grain of salt:

I am a lapsed education major - I quit in disgust at the state of the system - and I have railed against the condition of higher education many times. But not in the last few months. Suddenly it occurred to me that, in an economy where tedious, numbing service jobs are practically the ONLY growth sector, the sort of robot-making educational system we have is perfect. (I say this without joy, you understand.) Why give people the ability to love new ideas, the ability to have enthusiasm for doing and discovering new things, when their work environment not only has no reward for such skills, but actively penalizes such?

I figure the few people who go into the few more interesting jobs which become available will also be the few people who went the extra mile on their own and actually coaxed a GOOD education out of their diploma track.

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:31:40+00 by: Larry Burton

No, I can't accept that. I've always been an advocate of "do what you love and the money will follow". You may not make a lot of money following this advice but you'll spend much less of what you make on antacids. This means getting what you need out of an education and the hell with the grades or the degrees. Go to school and take the classes you enjoy and need, get the education for yourself and don't worry very much about what some perspective employer might make of your college record. As long as you strive for excellence in what you enjoy doing the recognition will be there.