I never was much interested in school and it showed with a D- average and no formal education. Still, I thought later in life that I might like to go back to get a degree, maybe an MBA and after talking to a few instructors, I discovered that my executive experience qualified me for the Executive MBA program.
Still, after seeing what is happening with our educational institutions and what they are teach our children, I've decided that I would get little value out of the education, especially since I have no plans to go to work for anyone else.
What really has me questioning formal education is the behavior of the students that recently protested in England and the way our institutions produce followers that are willing to participate in the destruction of our society in the name of “saving” it.
Does a college education make you smarter? Maybe, but it doesn't matter how smart you are if it has nothing to do with what you're doing with your life.
Back in the nineties I owned a limousine service that had contracts with an Indian Casino and I hired a driver with an MBA. That should have told me something right there, how the guy ever got the MBA I will never know.
This guy had to drive people to the casino and check them in when he got there. The casino was west of the city about an hour away. He had made the trip many times, but for some reason he left and went East with the people he picked up on this trip.
He drove to a riverboat casino and while on the way, the people asked about the direction he was headed in. When he discovered he was going in the wrong direction, they told him it was ok, but they thought they were going to the Indian casino. He continued on anyways and called me when he got to the riverboat casino to tell me he went to the wrong casino but the customers didn't mind.
I told him the customer did mind, and he wasn't driving the customer, that the customer was the Indian casino. So much for the MBA!
My point is that too many people are spending tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands on formal education that provides no value to their life. Many of them are doing this through loans and grants with little concern for how or where they will get the money to pay for this education.
Why are we as a country spending so much money on formal education when so many people don't actually use what they're learning in school?
Quite often the academia will criticize high profile college sports program and alumni for investing so much into a “game” and not putting it into education, but at least many of the student athletes I these high profile programs go on to use their education, either on the field as a pro player, or as a coach which allows them to directly benefit from their schooling.
I had lunch with a couple of highly skilled engineer friends of mine, who readily admitted that they don't use any skills that they learned in college, and everything that they do in their jobs were things that they could have done right out of high school with a little training.
So the only thing that they got out of their education was a degree that said they were qualified to do a job they could have done without the degree.
If this country has so much debt, why are we wasting it on teaching people how to do things they don't really need to know how to do, while failing to teach things that are directly related to the work that people actually do?
Is formal education really that valuable? I really wonder.