Why Higher Education is Useless
Right, so hi everyone! /waves I’ve been more or less MIA from WP as of late and with very good reason. In fact, I share it with Thaumaturgist.
You guessed it. School. Yay! *mock enthusiasm*
Contrary to Thaumaturgist, however, I am 20 years old and in university.Which means this week I have to write a critical analysis of the pros and cons of offshore outsourcing, write a use case narrative for a self-service printing kiosk, interview people on an everyday task to discover how technology can improve it, and develop three studies involving said task. And I’m still looking for a job. Two, in fact, a part-time one for the semester and a full-time one for the latter half of the year.
I can’t speak about the rest of the world, but at least in this country there is a huge push for everyone to continue on to higher education. There’s very little you can do with a high school diploma, so one must get at least a bachelor’s degree to be worth anything in society. The push for masters and doctorates isn’t lightening up, either.
That’s right, you need a piece of paper to be a real person. Huzzah.
School is supposed to prepare you for the real world. The things you learn in school, you’re supposed to be able to apply to your future dream job. Then they go and tell you what courses you have to take. Sure, you get electives. I have a total of seven electives across five years of schooling, and some of those must be certain kinds of electives, narrowing my choices further. If you dual/double major or take up a minor, the number of electives you have diminishes. Your entire schedule is made for you. All you can to do is pick when you want to take each class.
Well you know what, University? What if I don’t want to learn about empirical research methods? What if I don’t care about object-oriented programming? Maybe I want to learn another language or take a creative writing course. What are ya gunna do about that? Sadly, the answer is “not let you graduate.”
But I’m the one paying to attend this school. I am paying to be told what to do and what to learn. I’m paying to have my options limited, choice stripped from me. Paying a lot. All so I can have a shiny piece of paper to tell people I’m awesome. Go me, I did something I didn’t want to do but did anyways because people told me I’m going to live in a box if I don’t. Because when I was sixteen years old, I thought this would be a good idea. Because when I was sixteen years old, student loans meant nothing to me.
Sure as hell mean a lot to me now.
If I’m paying so much for this so-called “education,” why can’t I pick what I learn? Why can’t I take courses that interest me and skip out on the ones I don’t care for? If I really miss so much by not taking computer organization, I’ll find out when I fail to land a job now, won’t I? Then I’ll just have to come back and take the course, or pick a new career. Boo-hoo.
So much of this country’s education process is locked in stone. By the time we’re seventeen years old, we have to pick the school of our dreams. Yes, we can transfer if we want to, but that is not only a huge pain in the arse (What do you mean you won’t accept my credits?), but you can also end up staying in school substantially longer (I have to retake how many courses?).
Once you’re in school, you have to pick your major, your focus of study. You can change majors, within reason. I changed majors my freshman year as soon as I learned how much I hate programming. Change your majors too late, and you sacrifice all of your electives. A little later, and you’re locked in for another semester. That’s another semester of tuition, because the university says you’re not smart enough to go out into the real world yet.
I’m in my third year out of five at this university. Everything I’ve learned that relates to what I want to do for a career, I have taught myself outside of class. Nearly everything I’ve learned in class, I’ve forgotten. I’m not paying for an education, I’m paying for a piece of paper. A bloody piece of paper.
And dammit I know I’ve failed at critiquing everyone for RWWP, but I will get there, I promise! Look forward to another horrific scene later today (it’s past midnight now) though it will be from Rephaim and not Halfling. Anyways, I’m off to bed. Goodnight my lovely readers!