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  Topic: Free college or not?, continued from Panda's Thumb< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Julie Stahlhut

Posts: 46
Joined: July 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 14 2005,12:02   

This piece of news is interesting -- I'm hoping that it works out well for Kalamazoo (where I lived for 13 years).  I was about to call it an "experiment", but since it's not entirely controlled, maybe "innovation" or "approach" is a better word.

BTW, I'd be very, very careful about making assumptions about people's job prospects based only on their college degrees.  It's true that, say, engineering degrees are more geared toward developing specific marketable skills than are humanities degrees.  However, quite a few people with humanities degrees seem to do very, very well in the business world (including a relative of mine who has a BA in philosophy and now holds a lucrative position in banking). The fallacy lies in assuming that all college degrees should be judged on whether you're going to get paid, after graduation, to do the same kinds of things you did for grades when you were in school.  That's not realistic -- not even engineers do problem sets for a living.  And, a lot of people are inspired to pursue further education after being out in the workforce for a few years.

If, as a college student, you don't major in something you enjoy, you're setting yourself up for at least several years of severe unpleasantness, and probably an increased probability of dropping out (I'd be interested in seeing some numbers on this, BTW; my above claim is anecdotal.)  If you find yourself underemployed or bored a couple of years out of school -- and this can happen to engineers too, folks --  both your education and your later experiences can give you a perspective on where to go next.  Lots of people find themselves in law or business school a few years down the road.  I've even met an M.D. whose initial degrees were from a music conservatory.  He had to take several science classes as a part-time student in order to get into med school, but I don't think he'd have given up his earlier experiences as a music student for anything.

  12 replies since Oct. 21 2005,16:24 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  


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