I concur

With Bitter, in that not everyone is college material.

Not everyone is, and by forcing that idea, you’re devaluing the degrees of the people who are.

That is the sad truth of our education system right now.  When my dad was my age, you could get a decent job with a high school diploma, and a 4 year degree was something that you got if you wanted to go into a specific field that required said degree.

Fast forward 30 years to when I graduated from college, and now a college degree is practically a prerequisite for having a good job in most areas.  For example, the job I do for a living had a “four year degree” requirement, but I could teach a high school graduate to do it just as well as I do.   I’m thinking about going to grad school and getting my MBA just so I can vault myself into the next tier of earnings, just because my undergrad degree is barely worth the paper on which it’s printed.  This is doubly frustrating because I actually went to a good school, and got a degree in something relevant (Business) and not Advanced DVD Playback or whatever.

College is a good thing, and I do think that if you posses the ability, you should go to college.  But college is not for everyone.  Telling everyone that they should “go to college”, you’re just going to clutter the job market with college grads with worthless degrees.  They’ll still be doing the jobs they would have done without those degrees, but now they’re be in debt and disgruntled.


  1. As I told my twin sons, who did graduate from college, that good tradesmen such as a plumber or carpenter can do very well and with some business courses set up a business that could earn them more than most professionals. I was a field test engineer/manager for placing large power projects on line and had little college, but I had a technical education in the navy. I did very well in that industry prior to my retirement last year. Even the union tradesmen/women do well, but they the trade unions are having problems with recruitment since it is dirty work that most parents seemly feel is beneath their children.

    Your reputation in the trades is what matters above all else. The contractor for my house addition was hired on the basis of reports by friends and acquaintances. Neither he nor his two sons have a college degree, but their work is superb.

    I have heard from businessmen that a college degree is now required because the public school system is so bad. Nevertheless, many businesses report having to institute requirements for in-house training since even those with college degrees fall short of expectations. I know for a fact that my children had a less rigorous education than my wife and I, even after our heavy involvement in the school system. My wife, a former teacher, says she would now on reflection have placed our children in private school. What we presently see presented as an education for our grandchildren is even worse and is somewhat frightening to us for what it offers them and our country. I personally know the superintendent of the present school system and those who were in charge during my son’s education. We were like a voice in the wilderness. I doubt if anything will change until the mindset of Americans change.

    Example: our son’s last had grammar in the 4th grade. Each year we were promised next year they would receive said course. It never happened. Our efforts at home helped, but we did not have the support of the school system; the older teachers we knew said they were powerless since their association would not support them. As I have said to many public officials, I don’t remember many of the rules of grammar, but I had them drilled into me, as the navy did with my technical lessons, such that I usually know when my writing is incorrect. My sons never had the rules drilled into them, so the result is each having poor writing skills.

  2. My sister went to college and got a degree in journalism. Now she catches shoplifters. I got an engineering degree, but I actually don’t do engineering; there was more money in IT. Very few people I know actually have jobs that are relevant to their degrees.

    College degrees are a signaling mechanism. They aren’t much else, I think.

  3. I always had grammar throughout all the English classes I took. However, I did object to their requirement that all essays focus on literature. (I can write persuasive essays about steam engines, but not Ethan Frome.)

    Were Mark Twain alive, he would object to what English teachers force us to do with his books.

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