Saturday, November 3, 2007

College education, value of

Having a college education does not entitle you to anything. If you did it right, it makes you more capable of something. This Washington Post article, Fulfillment Elusive for Young Altruists In the Crowded Field of Public Interest, occasions some comment at Transterrestrial Musings and Althouse. Commenter M. Simon at Transterrestrial says, "I have one year of college and wound up as an aerospace engineer. How did that happen? The degree is not the ticket. You are the ticket."

The number of people going to college expanded enormously in the last century.
That's hard to read without gridlines. It's from PBS, based on the Statistical Abstract. Click to see it better. Per capita, more college graduates now than high school grads in 1940; more college grads now than high school and college grads put together for the first 160 years or so of this country's existence. This is the kind of quantitative change that is large enough to become a qualitative change. Or it would be, if high school were as tough now as it was then, and likewise college. A good education is still available; but so are diplomas and degrees for time served and tuition paid.

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