How to manage a college education


The idea of paying for a liberal arts education is over. It is elitist and a rip off and the Internet has democratized access to information and communication skills to the point that paying $30K a year to get them is insane.

Ben Casnocha has one of the most thorough, self-examined discussions about the value of college on his blog. He went to college, probably, because so many people told him to. (Here are some good links on Ben’s blog.)

Ben left college. Early. And he’s fascinating, and he’s educating himself through experience, which is what the Internet does not provide. The Internet provides books and discussion, so why would you need to go to school for those things?

It’s the time of year when college students start looking for the return on investment for their education: They start worrying about what they’re going to do this summer.

More than 90% of college kids get internships at some point or another, and, whether or not internships are fair (some parents buy them), it is really, really important to have productive summers that can distinguish a recent-grad’s resume.

And, of course, it’s a tough time to graduate into the workforce. Tough is totally relative, though. It’s not as tough to be entry level as it is to be, say, a baby boomer with 20 years experience at a newspaper, or 20 years of experience underwriting ridiculous mortgages. But still, it’s tough to be in college right now.

It would be so great, and helpful, if college career centers could be front and center in every student’s planning. But most career centers are useless, because most colleges presume you still need college to teach you how to think critically. So they can get away with having incompetent career centers.

This is why you should be really careful using career centers – because colleges have this ivory-tower delusion that supporting yourself is ancillary to why you went to college.

Here’s why career centers are terrible:

Career centers cater to companies, not candidates.
Career centers are in the business of booking interviews on campus. They already have the students on campus, so they worry about getting companies on campus. This means that career centers do things that are not necessarily good for students. For example, companies want to compare apples to apples, so they want all the student resumes to have the same format. Career centers encourage this, so that companies are happy.

But if everyone has the same format, then only the students who excel at what is emphasized by the default resume structure will benefit.

So ask your career center for input on your resume, but don’t let them dictate structure to you.

Career centers don’t understand social media.
Most people get jobs from their network, not from a career center. And social media is the fastest, most effective way for you to build a network. Career centers want to get credit for everything they do — it’s their job security. So they want your blog, your domain name, your online identity — everything — to be tied to the university career center. How does this help you? It only serves to limit you in the social media world. You can crosspost to the career center, fine, but making the career center the focal point of your online identity is extremely short-sighted and could only be promoted by an institution failing to put student needs first, or to understand them in the first place.

Career center staff is self-selecting for underperformance.
Colleges have not, typically, focused on career centers as an ROI focal point.

Colleges, especially the really expensive ones, think of vocational school as pedestrian. So they track how many students go on to get a Ph.D in Russian from Columbia, but not how many students get jobs. Therefore, the career center is not exactly the hot button in budget meetings, and it’s not the landing ground for visionaries, because what visionary goes to a part of an institution no one cares about?

Here’s what you can do to make your college investment pay off:

Forget the idea of paying for a liberal arts education.
It used to be that people only did writing and critical thinking for school. So they needed school to teach them communication skills and critical thinking skills.

The generation that grew up with social media is the most effective at communicating of any generation in history. Despite their schooling, not because of it. Students today don’t need teachers who don’t know how to write a blog post to teach them how to persuade people. Because the bar for communication is high, and it’s in the blogosphere, and if you can write a blog post that gets a decent conversation started, then you already know how to write a persuasive, engaging argument.

Pick a school based on their track record for getting students jobs.
Look, did you get into Harvard? Did you have a 4.0 in high school? Then forget paying a lot of money for some chi-chi liberal arts school. Just go to a cheap school and get the degree. Don’t delude yourself that the 40K a year is worth it for a mid-tier school. And, since you’re not picking from a list of brand name schools, make your choice based on their track record for getting their graduates great jobs. (Hat tip: Melissa)

Look, I’m not saying school is stupid. I’m one of the people who constantly commented on Ben’s blog that I thought he should go to college. But I’m saying that you need to calculate the return on investment on going to college before you go to college so that you make sure you’re going to college for rational reasons. Just because the liberal arts education was a default goal to the bourgeois of the last three centuries does not mean that route will work for you, right now.


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  1. Shannon
    Shannon says:

    I’d love to hear what people think about the future of online degrees. I know that the University of Phoenix isn’t a competitive option, but won’t most “real” schools start offering more online programs in the future? And when they do, how will those degrees be viewed by potential employers?

    I ask because am 35 and employed full-time. I make more money than a lot of people I know who did get liberal arts degrees- nevertheless, recruiters seem to require that you have that piece of paper for almost any job, no matter how menial. A BA is the new high school diploma.

    I’ve attended both community colleges and an expensive, private university, but never finished the degree. While other people seem to find lectures and class discussions fascinating, I find being in the classroom makes me feel like a caged animal. It’s not so much that they encourage you to learn the material and exercise critical thinking skills as that they expect you to memorize their interpretation of the facts. The way to get good grades is to figure out what each professor wants and deliver only that.

    As for the “priceless college experience,” after I dropped out, I bought a one-way ticket to Europe and hitch-hiked around the continent before returning to San Francisco to live communally with a group of anarchists. College isn’t the only way to discover yourself.

    • Jud
      Jud says:

      I recently read an article on the Business Week about the free online tuition at the University of People ( “Real” schools are already getting involved into this relatively unpopular form of higher education, such as Yale, even though it’s just as a research partnership at this point.

      I think another issue to consider is career aspirations as a researcher/professor. If that’s your goal, then in my opinion ROI on education is higher.

  2. Nathan Rodriguez
    Nathan Rodriguez says:

    Nice article, thanks for the information. You should see how are things here in south america, education became a business where people get off the school without enough preparation.

  3. Iwona Reed
    Iwona Reed says:

    What an interesting perspective Penelope!

    I agree with a lot of what you have stated, but I really think that you are painting career centers with a very broad stroke. To actually state that “most career centers are useless” or that “career centers are terrible”, completely devalues the work that we do!

    Now, I freely admit that I can’t speak for all college/university centers, especially since I work for a Canadian University, but I can tell you that my staff and I work extremely hard to work WITH students. Yes, I admit that I do have a full time job developer whose job it is to recruit companies for our students, but I have double the staff working with students. For us, its all about students. We not only have a full class on preparation for the work world, where we explore career options, as well as run sessions on business etiquette, how to prepare for meetings [including social media settings], we teach how to prepare innovative presentations and how to improve communication skills, all IN ADDITION to the regular resume and cover letter modules. The resume modules are diverse, and we highlight several styles of resumes – although we do state our preference and why, the student selects how they will set up their resume, and once they do, we help them improve it. We certainly do not have a “cookie cutter” approach to resumes, but what is so terrible about suggesting a student make some modifications to meet employer needs? After all, we deal with the same companies year after year and they tell us what they would like to see…are you suggesting that I let a student blindly submit a resume that I know will not get them noticed because it's not in the preferable format for the employer? Or it's not highlighting the skills that the employer has asked for?

    My career centre, which works exclusively with Science students, spends ample time and money to bring back guest speakers to talk about non traditional and traditional career paths with the degrees available in our Faculty.

    You are correct about stating that we are not at the forefront of Administration’s priority list, but we don’t make that list for students either. We run events, we run breakfasts, we run contests, we’re on Facebook, etc., we partner with student clubs, we even hired clowns and a popcorn cart to encourage students to see us…and students ignore our service. The ones who come, definitely keep us busy, but they are a small percentage of our overall population. I would have really preferred, Penelope, if you had stated in your blog that students should use EVERY avenue available to them, including career centers…and I’d be ok if you had put a disclaimer that some career centers are better than others, but instead, you’ve made our value and our job even tougher than before.

  4. Katie
    Katie says:

    Have a big high school student readership, do we, Penelope? I think most people who read your blog aren’t in the how-much-should-I-trust-my-guidance counselor stage of life. Reading this certainly made me feel like shit — I’m three semesters from graduation at my own personal chi-chi LAC — but not much I can do about it now, is there?

  5. Jennifer
    Jennifer says:

    There’s not much I can add to what has already been said by all those representing career centers, nor do I find trying to argue with those set in their beliefs to be a good use of my time, but while I’m here, I figured I might as well (proudly) represent the Boise State University Career Center.

    To students: As with anything else in life, you have to evaluate the quality of the information and services you’re receiving, and act accordingly. I wouldn’t ever suggest discounting a resource without even trying it. As a side note, your school’s career center will be much more useful to you if you begin using it early in college. We’re here to help you figure out how your education might translate to future employment, make decisions, sets goals, and develop the skills to achieve them. If you clarify the relevance and purpose of your education early on, and take the right steps to apply it, you won’t be one of those looking back later in life wondering what the point of your degree was.

    Jennifer Iuvone, Career Counselor
    Boise State University Career Center

    Follow us on Twitter: BSUCareerCenter
    Join our LinkedIn group: Boise State University Career Center
    Become a fan on Facebook: Boise State University Career Center
    Follow our blog:

  6. HCP
    HCP says:

    And that’s why being a healthcare professional is the perfect way to go! Nurses, pharmacists, physical therapists, physician assistants, etc are all in high demand. The best part? We’re still in school and recruiters are quick to cut contracts with us. No matter what happens, healthcare services are a necessity; deconstructionist discourses are not.

  7. whitney
    whitney says:


    I am a senior at a liberal arts college. I went to college directly out of high school, but realized that I had no idea what I wanted to study. I had to take several years off to commit to an area of study–communications.

    I have many friends and associates who–with their frivolous degrees–are struggling to pay off debt while working in an industry completely unrelated to their area of study. I have been making every effort to avoid living that scenario.

    Above all, I am extremely happy with my choice to study communications at a liberal arts college. My instructors are mentors who have years of experience and an excellent grasp on traditional communication methods and a handle on all of the current social media trends.

    Many other invaluable opportunities are offered through universities, like study abroad programs, internship programs and student groups and societies, which further validate the importance of a liberal arts education.

    While it is true that people can read and study the same information outside of a classroom that they can inside the classroom, a diploma certifies that a person has learned to write effectively and think critically.

    It may be true that the generation that grew up with social media is the most effective at communicating of any generation in history, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are communicating strategically–in a way that will influence behavior.

    Lastly, I do think that societal status (unfortunately) still plays a role in who gets the jobs on many occasions, even if two people have an equal knowledge base. Having a college degree plays a big role in societal status. Of course there are exceptions–Gates, Jobs, Kerkorian etc. So, I am willing to trade the $30K per year for that status in case I am not one of the lucky ones who can bypass an education and end up as a gizzillionaire.

    Great blog by the way. I am an avid reader. : )

  8. BeiLang
    BeiLang says:

    The poor quality of college career centers and the value of liberal education are two entirely separate issues, the former being a rather specific and even technical issue while the latter being an extremely complex issue that goes beyond the scope of this blog.

    I happen to be a serious believer of liberal education for its creative and versatile nature that cannot be replaced easily by any other means. Having said this, I agree that college education has become yesterday’s high school and it is very expensive. When even state universities are forced to mainly depend on private sources(and tuitions), the idea of equal opportunities is being challenged seriously. Then, shouldn’t we discuss the structure of the education system in this country that put the cost so high, to the degree of being prohibitive? Shouldn’t we discuss how we help create a system where today’s “high school” is affordable to more people? It’s quite surprising that no one brings this up. (Due to the lack of good liberal education, I suspect:-)

    To me, the value is liberal education is indubitable and what concerns me is that people seems take the current system for granted, while they talk about a wonderful new world being opened up by new technology. Again, due to lack of liberal education that teaches you historical and global perspectives.

  9. Luke
    Luke says:

    I was wondering if someone could give me some advice/insight on this subject.

    I’m currently a third-year student at a top-15 liberal arts school pursuing an International Relations major. For my first two years I was taught that the education I was receiving far outweighed the increase in job prospects, however substantial it may be, had I majored in a “marketable” major such as Economics/Accounting/Finance/etc. I was also nudged in the direction of Law School and at that time, hadn’t adequately examined my reasons for wanting to apply. The only marketable skill I have now is fluency and written proficiency in Mandarin Chinese and some (limited) work experience in China.

    As my friends interview for Big4 accounting firms and investment banks on Wall Street, I now wonder whether I made the right decision. The sad thing is, I don’t even think I would have worked that much harder had I majored in a different major- I’m required to take some economics courses for my major and I’m cruising through hard work and efficient study groups. On the other hand, analyzing allegorical stories in Chinese and writing gargantuan essays on Chinese political theory were far from easy tasks. I can take accounting and finance courses my senior year, but I’m terribly behind at this point.

    Ironically, the only option that seems viable at this point is something that this blog has in the past discouraged– applying to law school because I have no other options. While my GPA is high, it is also in an unmarketable humanities major.

    I’m satisfied with the intellectual cultivation I’ve received over the last two years- I’m fluent in a foreign language, can write essays with ease, and can hold a good conversation. Now what can I do to salvage my job prospects and not have my education “go to waste”.

    Thanks in advance and Penelope, I really enjoy reading your blog.

    • Deb Bashaw
      Deb Bashaw says:


      You mention where you have come from, but don’t share anything that you really want to do in the way of a career. There is so much more than your major that goes into this decision of where to go from here. Can you give us more insight into where you see yourself in the workplace in an ideal situation?


  10. Christina Mosteller Hall
    Christina Mosteller Hall says:

    I don't think International Relations is a bad major, it's just the expectation that your degree is a magic carpet that would whisk you off to the job of your dreams. (Which clearly you don't have, but I think that's the misperception Penelope is railing against.)I think it's great day you have some proficiency in Mandarin Chinese and some work experience in China.

    Consider going into your dreaded career services office airing your concerns and, perhaps figuring out a way to get more experience.

    Do not, do not, do not -apply to law school just because you don't know what else to do with yourself. You can always figure out a way to pick up new skills. Volunteer, take a job somewhere, teach abroad, join Americorps, do some work on spec for somebody- do something that could be helpful and not get to into debt like grad school and not confine you to a specific field where you may or may not be able to find the opportunities you want. Grad school in itself isn't a bad thing, but just going there so you seem productive and you think, this time, this education is going to be the one that does it, could backfire.

    Get experience. Network, online and off. Figure out what kind of work you want to do, even if it's just a list of companies that seem interesting.

  11. Eva
    Eva says:

    I had a fantastic liberal arts education at Mary Washington College that led to a great grad program at UVA. I’m now working as a school teacher and loving it. A liberal arts education doesn’t have to be expensive (mine wasn’t) but it is irresponsible to write the institution off categorically.

  12. Rebecca
    Rebecca says:

    As a career counselor at a university, I think most students have unrealistic expectations about the services provided at a career services office. Career services offices are another piece of an education. We teach students the key skills they need to manage their job search and their careers, so they don’t have to pay resume writers and headhunters for the rest of their lives. So I’d like to address the points in this article.

    1. Career centers cater to companies, not candidates.
    In my office, students and the university administration expect us to provide opportunities for students to make contact with employers. If we didn’t, the students would be very angry about the fact that we’re not doing this. That being said, my office (and many others) do not have corporate sponsors and are trying to get the employers to the school for the benefit of the students. Furthermore, no one in my office would suggest a student write the exact same resume as every other student…that would just be boring and would not make a job candidate stand out. We routinely advise students NOT to use templates that make them look just like everyone else.

    2. Career centers don’t understand social media.
    Actually, all of the counselors in our office advise students to utlize both online sources of networking like LinkedIn, etc. to build their network. It’s also a discussion that I have with most of my colleagues at my university and others in my area that teaching students how to network in a variety of ways is our top priority.

    3. Career center staff is self-selecting for underperformance.
    My career services office is charged with doing graduate follow-up surveys and we are mainly interested in tracking employment, not which graduate institution our students attend (although we take that information as well). Again, most other schools I know want employment information, as that is what our whole goal is. We want our students to be gainfully employed. I do agree that administrations of universities often do not allocate the budget necessary to help with this endeavor. My office has 3 career counselors for 22,000 students and 140,000 alumni. We would love if, instead of getting angry about the wait time to get into our office, students/alumni would contact administration about how they could give more money/staff to career services. Most career services offices deal with this same lack of resources/support from the institution.

    I know that this was quite a rant, but I do want people to understand that most people who work in this capacity truly care about the students and really do want them to succeed. We do the best we can to reach out to students early and get their attention…we want them to come to us as freshmen so that we help them start to gain that real-world experience that does get them a job. By the way, the number one quality employers look for in a candidate: related work experience. This is something I tell ALL of my students.

  13. Laura
    Laura says:

    This posting is all over the place, and while it addresses some salient issues, it gets other things flat out wrong. The value of a liberal arts education is an endlessly debatable subject, and it’s near impossible to get a straight answer. I believe that liberal arts does have value, but students have to work far above and beyond anything they’ve done before to uncover it. As a career advisor at Hampden-Sydney College, I vehemently disagree with 3 out of your 4 points on why college career centers are so terrible.
    1. If you had taken the time to understand the differences between large schools and small schools, you would see that many small schools attract few, if any companies to recruit on campus at all. So therefore, they can’t build their organization around catering to companies. Instead, offices like mine build our organization around helping students explore any and all career possibilities. A good career counselor doesn’t dictate options, they work with a student to discover the students’ hopes, dreams and goals.
    2. Social media. So you say that career centers only want to ride along on the social media creativity of others, therefore, we don’t understand it. I am really confused by your point. How about examining the many, many, many career centers out there that are using social media to build relationships, connect students with alumni, and share advice?
    3. I don’t know a single career center that doesn’t track the job outcomes of its students. That is our bread and butter of accountability to offices around campus. The idea that we would only track graduate school acceptances but not jobs is simply absurd. You can get great numbers on this from NACE, the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

    I do agree with your point of looking for schools that have strong track records of getting students jobs. I’d like to see a little less name lust in the college market and people thinking about “where can I maximize my experience the most?”

  14. Stias
    Stias says:


    I am interested in what you have to say in light of this quote from your archives

    “In college you need to learn how to think broadly and critically. How you think is much more important than if you know how to map a brand strategy. You have your whole life to study business; college is your time for Shakespeare, Schopenhauer, and science experiments. In this new era of downtrodden, low-key CEOs, one CEO stands out for her star power: Carly Fiorina. And guess what her major was? English.”

    How, or better yet, why have your opinions changed so drastically? Thank you for your time.

  15. Darren
    Darren says:

    I was pointed to this blog by an agitated fellow alum of an elite liberal-arts college, and having attended the elite LA college and taught at a lower LA college and a middling LA college, as well as attending a large university, I have thought a lot about this subject. That I have kids entering high school makes the subject more pressing to me.

    First, I agree with the career center comments. The OCC is, was, and will be looked down upon by the campus community because anyone who gets a non-academic job is seen as a sellout or failure. Naturally there is a selection process that does not draw the best minds to career counseling. The best schools judge success as students moving to the next school—med, law, grad, etc.

    Second, I disagree with the assessment of the primary mission of the college as transfer of Knowledge or communication skills. The mission should be (and is at the truely elite schools) honing critical thinking and analysis skills. Surfing the web for information is the antithesis of this, as all information is seen as equally valuable and “true”. It is not. The absence of critical thinking (often derided as “elitist”) is crippling political discourse and technological and economic development.

    HOWEVER, there are very few schools that offer a real education. My experience teaching at both middling and lower tier schools is one of that says education of any kind is a distant second to making happy students. Can’t converse in your discipline? No problem! Just make sure your frat brother’s Dad has a spot for you.

    Last, texting is not the same as professional business communication. Stating that this generation communicates well is to have never read the meaningless drivel chatter on Facebook.

  16. Chandlee Bryan
    Chandlee Bryan says:

    Penelope, as I’ve mentioned before–this post was very thought-provoking. As I spent the better part of ten years working inside campus career services offices, I wanted to provide more information on why most colleges use a standard format–and why students and alums should deviate from this format when not applying for jobs posted through on-campus recruiting.

    Look forward to continuing the conversation!

  17. Kateri
    Kateri says:

    Remember the blog you wrote about creating your own resume–a line that you wrote stuck with me that I think applies to what you are basically saying here about the “lack” of education in your education or institution; it went something like this:

    If the life experiences that you need and want on your resume don’t exist yet, create them: donate your time; write a journal; start a local coalition; work at an educational center or a nursing home; job shadow someone you know whose career interests you. Just because you have not been hired and/or paid for the job, does not mean you can’t go “out” and get it.

    I found this to be extremely enlightening and radical–it changed my thinking about the life experiences you can create on your own.

    I must also say that my school and education fundamentally changed how i view and interact with the world. Because of Alverno (milwaukee, wi) College’s approach to learning and real life experience as the basis for their ability based education, before I ever walked across the stage, I was able to publicly speak, successfully manage a classroom, teach, adapt myself to any situation or conversation and “speak on my feet”–School helped me to become a proactive communicator; to go out there and “take” the experiences that I need and want so that I am not just another person with a useless degree.

  18. Raffles
    Raffles says:

    Is liberal arts just a luxury for the well-heeled? My personal advice is to focus on acquiring a skill, and working hard at it. There is after all no short-cut to greatness and success.

  19. Website Design
    Website Design says:

    I agree that education is very expensive. I never regret the years of university but sometimes I regret the student loan payments that I have to make. Somehow during those impressionable years I never once thought about the ramifications of paying back $75k. Yes, the first round of university was spent wondering what I wanted to do with my life, and the second was a focused necessity to become what I dreamed of.

  20. CJ
    CJ says:

    Liberal Arts degrees are great if you plan to go onto graduate school. However, their value is depends on the fluctuation of the economy. In good economic times, a liberal arts degree can be a stepping stone to a good job in any company that values a well rounded individual. In a bad economy, the liberal arts majors will be bagging groceries for the Informatics graduates and be saddled with a boatload of debt.

  21. Kimmy B.
    Kimmy B. says:

    I wish someone would have told me this before I wasted four years and a whole bunch of money in college myself. I’m not saying it was a complete and total waste (hat would be inaccurate). What I am saying is that the return on investment has been absolutely horrid. The only thing that makes sense right now is launching my own business. I’m reading the 4-Hour Workweek. I’m going through the steps. I can’t believe the lies we are told. It’s sad. I’ve decided to become a career coach to help bring a bit of reality back to what it means to select a career and plan for your future. This type of nonsense has got to stop. I’ll read the other blog posts in this category and most likely write a blog post or two inspired by what I read. Thanks for Keeping It Real.

    Kimmy B.

  22. JA
    JA says:

    Wow! Did you do ANY research on career centers before you wrote this article??? I’m appalled by the incorrect information writen here. Your comments about career centers are completely off the mark – especially for liberal arts colleges.

  23. Acai
    Acai says:

    I know that this was quite a rant, but I do want people to understand that most people who work in this capacity truly care about the students and really do want them to succeed. We do the best we can to reach out to students early and get their attention – we want them to come to us as freshmen so that we help them start to gain that real-world experience that does get them a job. By the way, the number one quality employers look for in a candidate: related work experience. This is something I tell ALL of my students.

  24. Ben
    Ben says:

    I completely agree about this article’s comments on career centers. I spent several years organizing law forums in conjunction with the campus career center at the “elite” liberal arts/research university that I attended in California.

    During every one of my meetings with the career center directors they made painfully clear their ultimate goal: to keep the invitees happy by advertising for them so the career center could maintain a good image and continue to charge these institutions and professionals for attending career center-sponsored events. This was done consistently at the expense of many aspects of the forums that would have greatly increased students’ access to professional connections. In all of the career center events I witnessed, participating students were literally cajoled into a “McDonald-ized” process that catered almost exclusively to law schools, tech and business firms (i.e., where most of the money is concentrated).

    On another note: that the ability to secure a job effectively is an invaluable tool and that it takes “real world skills” to do so is undoubtedly true for most people. I also think it’s true that most liberal arts colleges do a horrible job at preparing their recent B.A. or B.S. recipients for entering directly into the job market as successful competitors.

    A liberal arts education is not, however, supposed to be a replacement for, or even more important than, job experience or vocational training. Yes, the costs of a liberal arts education today are outrageous and need to be fixed. Even so, as a relatively safe community where students can learn from some of the best academics in the world it serves as a foundation for participating in the job market by producing individuals who have done a good deal of in-depth thinking about a variety of important ideas–most importantly those that are contrary to their own preconceptions–and the relation of those ideas to the world we all live in. For most people, this background can’t be completely obtained through only real world experience. These skills are essential for maintaining a conscientious, open-minded and engaged citizenry, without which our democratic social ideals and the thoughtful creativity necessary for individuals to collectively guide the job market in socially responsible ways over the long-term couldn’t possibly exist in the first place.

    As for the wide availability of free information that exists today, it doesn’t matter much for most people. Without some kind of external guidance or pressure as a backdrop most people wouldn’t be able to determine how to organize their own curriculum appropriately or, much more importantly, muster up the self-discipline to teach themselves anything other than what would quickly get them a well paying job quickly.

    Those aren’t the people I would want voting in any significant election concerning governmental policy.

    The educational system as it exists now needs to be changed to better cater to students’ post graduation/job-related needs, but not at the expense of the more abstract education needed by most people to become responsible parts of a greater whole and not merely successful job applicants.

  25. Seo Website Design
    Seo Website Design says:

    There’s no doubt that Education is expensive. The problem with some colleges is they only focus on theory. What will work here, what will work there but some of them have no clue how it is in the real world. You learn 5x more in the first few months with OTJ training.

    Companies love to see that piece of paper though, it makes them feel more ‘secure’ about hiring someone.

  26. Benny
    Benny says:

    This post is another case of Penelope making a point about a very specific issue but making it seem like she is commenting about life, the universe and everything – and perhaps believing that herself, too.

    In this case, Penelope is making a point about studying at low-tier liberal arts institutions, not about liberal arts education in general. I’ve seen Princeton grads with English degrees get cushy (relatively cushy, as everything is these days) corporate jobs that University of Albany grads with Business degrees would probably not be considered for.

    With that said – and I think this is the point she was really trying to make – if you do go to the University of Albany, don’t major in English. Don’t let the fact that your friend who went to Princeton majored in English encourage you- he got that job because he went to Princeton. The hiring manager probably didn’t even look at what his major was.

    I’m not trying to criticize hiring managers for being impressed by “Princeton” on a resume. Not at all. The fact is, graduating with a liberal arts degree from Princeton does indeed say good things about you. Liberal arts education still does have the potential to impart creativity and critical thinking skills that more specific and technical programs don’t. It’s just that, at the average school, the liberal arts program is probably not going to be very challenging or reputable.

  27. Ray
    Ray says:

    Don’t kid yourself. Having competence in how to use a variety of social networking mediums and devices does not mean your are a “good communicator,” anymore than knowing how to make a car go forward makes you a good driver. The idea that formal education is not worth is it an argument people have tried to make and have been unpersuasive. If you are motivated and driven, you’ll make it anyway. For most people, the investment in education will pay off over a lifetime of earnings (Census Bureau educational stats confirm this and have for decades). That doesn’t mean it has to cost an arm and a leg, or that we should not shop around and be honest about our value in the education market. If your school is expensive and you’re not in the running for a scholarship, you are probably at the wrong school.

  28. toranosuke
    toranosuke says:

    The young person doesn’t have the so much nature that works now.
    It is being held in derision by South Korea and Malaysia, etc. recently and it worries about the future very much though Japan occasionally made the name known to the advanced country as a rival paid attention to before.

    What does you think?

    Now, the cigarette is becoming a country that doesn’t breathe in easily. It came also to be disliked by not only health and the cancer prevention but also work.
    Because there is variously no smoking method
    Let’s acquire the no smoking method for you.

  29. Emergency Life Support
    Emergency Life Support says:

    The $30,000 is the best way I can ensures my children future.
    Hopefully if they score well they will get a good job from a reputable company and a good salary the moment they graduate .So the Tuition fees can be offset in roughly 3 years time of them working.
    The other option of online education is also very inters testing its just that the certificates usually dont hold so much value.The kids could probably look into that whan they have a good job and if they are interested in studying any further.

  30. Kyle
    Kyle says:

    I have to disagree. College degrees are still a hot commodity in the world.

    The internet is not, as it has been suggested, a viable alternative to a formal liberal arts education. I read books, I had meaningful discussions online, I used the internet to the fullest of my abilities before I attended college. Sure, it benefited me to use the tools I had at my disposal. However, I learned so much more by getting an education that didn’t just end at what my “hobby” was. I learned Roman History, Economics, Geology, Statistics, and many other subjects during my time at University. These had nothing to do with the degree I was seeking either. I learned what I otherwise would remain ignorant about had I stayed home and used the resources I had at hand. What’s more, I had seasoned experts to teach me. I wasn’t wandering into the darkness alone. If I had the choice between a college educated employee and someone who is not. Without a doubt 100 percent of the time I am hiring the graduate and I am taking the name on the diploma seriously. Sorry, if you graduated from a Community College, but if I have the choice, I’m not hiring you.

  31. B P
    B P says:

    I feel like a lot of commenters, as well as Penelope, are making a common point in different ways: a college diploma ALONE is no better than spending 4 years surfing the internet, especially if that was basically all you did when you were in college.

  32. James Burns
    James Burns says:

    CPR Courses Sure, it benefited me to use the tools I had at my disposal. However, I
    learned so much more by getting an education that didn’t just end at
    what my “hobby” was. I learned Roman History, Economics, Geology,
    Statistics, and many other subjects during my time at University.

  33. five mistakes
    five mistakes says:

    Your site is pretty cool to me and your topics are very relevant. I was browsing around and came across something you might find interesting. I was guilty of 3 of them with my sites. “99% of site managers are committing these five errors”. You will be suprised how simple they are to fix.

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