Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Get a Job!

Institutions like Harvard and Princeton were originally founded to train people for the Ministry and Law. It was not until almost 200 years later that Hopkins started in Medicine. MIT, yes a Technical Institute in 1865 started as a Land Grant school to train in the sciences and technology.

Liberal Arts education was not something for the masses. After WW II most of the men going to college did so to get a job, to improve themselves and their families in an economic sense.

In a recent speech at Stanford the individual states:

The original rationale behind an American liberal arts education – to play a vital role in democratizing privilege – "is under attack, or is being forgotten," Robinson said. Now, universities by and large do not attempt to "prepare people for citizenship and democracy." Instead, they educate them to be members of a "docile, most skilled, working class."

Frankly that illusion is one reason why we may have so many unemployed. Many who have the chance to go to College think they must be broadly educated. Then they become aware after graduation that they are unemployable. Studying Medieval History is enlightening and entertaining but as we have seen it may not prepare you well to manage a multi-billion dollar high tech company.

Stanford, MIT, and other technically focused institutions hardly put out docile anything. Look around and what do you see? Creative and questioning but technically competent and productive creators of value.

What is under attack is the idea that going to college is an interlude in life, that it should be some mind exploring period between adolescence and adulthood. In reality it is a training ground for life, highly competitive and a means to an end, namely a job. Sorry about that but the illusion is why we have some many disappointed and unemployed kids at home.