Value Of A Degree HS & College.


Today’s topic for the LBC comes from a list of suggestions made by Shackman whose take on it promises to be very interesting, coming as it would from a self acknowledged jock.

Unlike many of my contemporaries, my late wife and I never pushed our son to acquiring a professional degree and simply accepted that his choice of a liberal arts higher education will be as good as one in a professional course.  He has grown into a fine young man with a sound career and is a role model for many.  In his circle of friends, I also see a number of dropouts who have done just as well and so to put a value on a degree perse is difficult.

In my own case, I have written earlier about it here and here.  Unfortunately the illustrations will not appear in the latter but the gist of the argument should still be obvious.   I have little to add except to offer some platitudes.

I have no doubt whatsoever in my mind that I was destined to get my degree in management and reach corporate heights.  I have always maintained and continue to do so that I had little to do with that as I am not ambitious at all but some force got me where I eventually got and have now become.

For every half a dozen success stories about MBAs reaching glorious heights, there are as many frauds cropping up and what is more important, dropouts seem to do well as entrepreneurs, inventors and game changers.  Except in the case of medicine, law and engineering, I wonder what real purpose a degree offers except of course a well rounded personality if one takes the humanities or the liberal arts route.

What however would appear to matter is a good High School education which gives the basic tools needed to survive successfully in a highly competitive world.  In my case, even that I could complete successfully only by failing to pass the examinations the first time around and reappearing for them after some tutorial help later.  But without that little qualification, what I achieved later would simply not have been possible.


25 thoughts on “Value Of A Degree HS & College.”

  1. A good education is important but I think the essential thing is self-confidence. I see so many incompetent idiots who’ve risen through the ranks due to sheer unflagging self-confidence. And contrary-wise, very talented people with little self-confidence who never get the recognition they deserve.
    nick recently posted..Uncrushed

    1. You are absolutely right. I know highly educated individuals flounder because of low or no self confidence and barely literate individuals flourish because of a high degree of self confidence.

  2. You say medicine, law, and engineering. Add science to that. Andy and Kaitlin needed not just college, but Ph.D.s to do what they did/are doing. (Kaitlin’s getting an MBA later didn’t hurt.) I got by fine in scientific programming with just my bachelor’s degree in physics. It depends on one’s interests. My main goal was to avoid jobs that would bore me out of my mind. I did fine all those years that I didn’t have a job! My main talent is having a good time.

    That said, I wouldn’t have been upset if Kaitlin had decided not to go to college. Andy felt she would have more options if she did, and he was probably right. American employers do value college degrees too highly, which has created a sick system. But as one of her nursery teachers said when Kaitlin was four years old, Kaitlin is the kind of person who would thrive anywhere.
    Cheerful Monk recently posted..Andy is FINE

    1. Yes, that was an omission. Most modern children would thrive anywhere I think. At least in urban middle class India where the parents sacrifice a lot to see that the children get a proper education.

  3. Of course you study what interests you the most. Nobody knows that better than you. You made all the right choices.

  4. I’m a firm believer in following one’s passion, one’s inner soul work if you will. I always felt thwarted at not being a writer from a young age but had to go into money making mode via accounting which consumed my life and parenting consumed what was left.
    No, I’m not bitter or anything, but that strong inner voice has got to be listened to and respected.

    wisewebwoman recently posted..The Wild East

  5. Having had to wait to much later in life to try out the higher education route and then finding it really has not much bearing on my life – has made of late question what is it’s real value.

    I’m grateful that I had to chance to tick that box…but if I had really thought through things a decade a go, I might not have gone down that avenue…

  6. I dropped out of college when I married bob.
    I have never regretted it.
    I think your observations are right.
    I am adjusting to a whole different attitude by young people in school today. I know there are dedicated students out there.
    but here the cost is astronomical… and so many of them when it’s being paid for by their hard working parents… just seem to ‘blow it off!’ as they say. i’m not sure they’re really learning anything! 🙂
    if teachers could make sure they leave with an appreciation and a thirst for knowledge… and simply a good modicum of common sense! …
    well. I think they’d be ahead of the game!

    1. Costs here are no less here and there is complaint that graduates are unemployable and need to be trained all over again by employers. I think that education everywhere needs a good strong look at and renewal.

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