Monday, May 5, 2014

Education




When I grew up, all I heard was, "get a degree if you want to (be happy/successful/survive)."  I was bombarded with studies from the college board about how I'd make at least 30% more throughout my life if I got a 4-year degree.

It's not true.  People survive, and are perfectly happy in this life without a college degree. The  non-college educated can quite easily make more than college grads now.

I'm not saying that a degree isn't valuable.  I AM saying that the advertised value of a degree is wrong.  Instead of telling my children "get a degree or you'll die!"  I'm gonna tell them, "get a degree with a purpose."

Many of my friends went to college just because it was the thing to do.  They studied and got good grades because they were told to.  Most of them retained very little of what was taught them.  To my generation, our parents taught us wrong in regards to college, and some conspiring intelligent and well-established people have now laden us with so much debt that we're effectively slaves to the older generations.

I can't do anything to free my generation from this, apart from extol the virtues of getting out of debt, advise them to put off buying what they want (or feel is needed), and to learn wise money-management practices.  If you were born between 1975 and 1995 you'll be lucky to get out of debt before you're 50.

I can do a lot to keep my kids from becoming slaves.  Tell kids to get a degree with a purpose.  Teach them to calculate the value of debt before taking it on.  Get them into college as soon as they can (and if that's before age 18, then so much the better).  Help them test the waters to make sure their plans for the future match up with what reality can provide (by helping them do job searches and looking at posted requirements, and working with them to create a resume).

College isn't the answer to all life's problems, it's a tool for solving some of them. Unless my kids know how to use it, what purpose would it serve?

Why I'm (still) a Mormon

I don't expect much more to ever be posted on this blog, and I'm largely just posting this to share it with some particular friends....