Tuesday, July 26, 2011

We all need education . . right?

So a few posts ago I told you about how my degree was nothing more than a hunting license. There is a book called Other Ways to Win: Creating Alternatives for High School Graduates by Gray and Herr. This book looks at the myth in America of how we have to go to college to "win". I know what you're thinking, Wait a minute David you've got degrees and work in getting people in college and you're saying not to go to college!?!? No, what I am saying is the degree you are working towards ought to be something specific that you can use.  Don't get me wrong there are still places where a bachelors of any sort will get you that "good job".  Typically it is in an area where few people have bachelors degrees and there is a need.  If you live in that sort of place and want to continue there, you have little to no worries. 

Then there is the part of education that no one wants to talk about.  Some people can't make it in college.  SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!!!!  NO!!!  YOU CAN'T SAY THAT!!!  ok.  Now that we got that out of our system.  Too many times we want to sugar coat things and not hurt people's feelings, but let's be honest.  If you busted your butt through high school and just got by, and have no interest in a 9-5 "white collar" job, than a 4 year university is probably not the best choice for you.  (I'm pausing for a second round of screeching)  Why do we have this idea in America that everyone must be a banker or teacher or something in the "white collar" industry?  If that was the case, then how would we eat?  (We could import it)  That's a great idea, because we've never been at another country's mercy on prices of things we import.  (Oil is the item you are searching for) 

Edit 1:  Let me emphasize here that I am speaking of students right out of high school that actually busted their butt.  If you just got by because you didn't try during high school than there may be potential.  If it is someone's dream to go to college, than I will NEVER discourage them!  The human spirit can get you through anything.  I am also not referring to those who want to go back/start school because they've lived in the real world.  They now have a fire in them that probably wasn't there in high school.

Edit 2:  Back to those who just didn't try during high school (my hand is raised).  One of two things will happen in college, they will be challenged and raise their work ethic, or they will only do just enough to get by until they get in a bind where they can't (my hand is raised)

I was discussing these ideas in my class one day, and a student blurted out, "someone's got to dig a ditch."  As I smiled, another student yelled, "You can't say that!!"  I asked why not.  She stuttered and finally said, "It's just not right!"  I said you mean, politically correct.  She nodded, and her boyfriend sitting beside her said, "He's not wrong."  (referring to the first student)  It was an eye opening discussion for some of them.  Let's try it this way.  If you like something, are good at it, and make a good living at it, why in the blast shouldn't you do it?!?!?!  If you love working on computers and need a 2 year degree, why wouldn't you go after that??  If you like working on small engines, why not do that???

So what am I saying, that you shouldn't go to college?  That you should?  That you only should if you make certain grades?  No to all of those.  You need an education.  Period, end of story.  Now, where do you need that education from.  If you want to work on small engines, than a BA in English will do you no good.  Likewise if you want to work in the medical field all you need is a CNA to start out with to see if that is an occupation for you.  Now this could lead me off on a tangent where the government is to blame for part of this phenomena around the county.  You can only receive financial aid if you are trying to get a 2 year degree or higher.  However that's a whole other rambling for a whole other day. 

Edit 3:  If you are interested in a CNA and can't get financial aid, let me know, there is a trick that will work that I am glad to share with you.

Simply put the education you get should match the job or field you are trying to enter.  There are apprenticeships, some companies have their own "college", or maybe you need to go out in the world and figure out what it is you want to do.  I went to college because I was "suppose" to.  I wasn't ready and had no idea what I wanted to do, and now I have $32,000 in student loans just for my undergrad to pay back. 

Everyone needs an education, just not the same education. The only thing I warn against in college choosing is know the schools accreditation.  Simply put, some schools credits won't transfer to another if you ever choose to transfer.  It doesn't mean the school is bad, it just means the credits won't transfer.  OK, I'm gonna stop here.  I could go for a long long time on this one.  If you have a student about to graduate high school I highly recommend the book for them.  It's anywhere from $20.00 to $.55 on amazon and it will make you think.  Til next time . . .whenever that is . . .


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