Monday, August 15, 2016

Education Inflation

It used to be that to have a bachelor's degree was good. To have a master's degree was exceptional and a Ph.D. was extraordinary. But once everyone got a bachelor's degree, that wasn't good enough anymore. Then more people started getting master's degrees.  The people who previously had masters degrees then went back to school again to  Ph.D.'s.  

I recently had a conversation with a person who got a new job this past year.  She has a bachelor's degree. She is doing very well at her job and performing all the tasks required of her, and then some, I'm sure.  But now "they" have told her that she needs to earn a master's degree in order to keep her job.  Now don't get me wrong, I'm all for education.  I'm all for learning.  (Learner and input are in my top 5 strengths.) I'm also an intelligent person, but it is beyond me why it is logical to require someone to go into debt (with school loans because they are not paying for said required education), add extra stress on one's schedule (for ongoing classes), and probably cause them to either be a worse employee or have so much stress that it causes them to be sick.  What is truly the benefit? Perhaps an overhaul of the system is in order.

Here's another example.  I've mentioned my mom before. She has been very successful in a lot of arenas.  She currently runs the Prison Trained K9 Companion Program for the state of Colorado.  Not only does she run it, she started it. (Go, Mom!) She doesn't have a bachelor's degree, yet she created and maintains a self funded, successful program that rehabilitates unwanted dogs...and people, on many levels. Yet she still gets grief for not having a college degree. I know I'm biased, but it almost seems that "they" want to feel better about the money and time "they" spent on their own college degrees.

colors: UL cherry red & nautical blue

This world is changing.  Yes, I still want my kids to go to college.  But they will work while they're there...and neither my kids or my husband and I will be going into debt over it.  Statistics show that kids who work while in college graduate faster and get better grades anyway. There are so many ways to learn now that are so much less expensive than college.  Online learning through courses and mentoring programs have a much more personalized angle. Coaching programs with experienced business people are everywhere, and often free or minimal cost. Apprenticeship programs are not a thing of the past.  I've even seen intensive learning programs that are short in length, but high in content and quality--lasting weeks instead of years.

It just doesn't make sense anymore to get a degree "just" to get a degree. Get it because you want to learn or gain new skills. Question the "theys" when they want you to get a degree just because.  How can you restructure your learning?

I'll step off my soapbox now.  I'm sure I'll step on some toes with this post, but I do welcome your feedback and civil discussion in the comments below.

Make it a beautiful day, friends.

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