The education debate.
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31-12-2010, 04:54 PM
The education debate.
So there was a previously started debate that was just too much to give fair thought to over the holidays. It died off, and I had said I would re-visit it later. So here goes...

I fear my comments may be a little anti-climactic. You see, I've had some time to ponder my position, and to discuss it with my wife. (She is often the voice of reason when I get overly opinionated) My conclusion is that I need to humble myself somewhat. I had taken the position that an education was unnesscesary to be successful. My thinking goes something like this: I have zero education outside of high school. I have enjoyed success at several different endeavors in my short 35 years. My logic lead me to the thinking that, with motivation, anyone could be successful without an education. Here's where I see failure in that logic. Motivation is different for different people. It doesn't just take motivation to succeed at any specific endeavor. It takes a KIND of motivation, based on that endeavor. So for me to assume that anyone could do what I did, simply with motivation is wrong. My wife mentioned many people that are very motivated, quite possibly more than I, that would not succeed at what I do, but have great success elsewhere. So I started thinking....am I motivated enough to become educated. The answer is "no". I am not motivated to educate myself (in a higher learning/university/college type way) and am just fortunate enough to be motivated in other ways. So to imply that people can succeed without education is just plain wrong. Also to imply that to do so is in any way "better" than succeeding with an education is also wrong. (And for the record, my intent was never to imply that at all. I have HUGE respect for people who can do that. It's something I just never could)

So my changed stance is this: A person without an education is not predisposed to be unsuccessful. The statement that "without an education, you are screwed/destined to flip burgers" is still wrong in my opinion. That said, I do agree that for a great many people, they will need an education to go as far in life as they would like. And those people are just as motivated as anyone, and just as strong and influetial. I maintain there are some who don't need to have an education, but thanks to my wife, BnW, and others, I have softened my position, and realize more, the value of education. Thanks for challenging my views. I am better for it.

So many cats, so few good recipes.
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31-12-2010, 05:22 PM
RE: The education debate.
Military is a good way to go and you don't need education past high school, of course you have to deal with the whole indoctrination process, but if you're strong enough you can fool them and maintain your indentity. However the more education you get within the military the higher your pay and benefits (I consider telling a platoon of soldiers to jump and not getting questioned a benefit fyi). I completely agree with your position, but give me a few years an that could change (as I enter the working class).
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31-12-2010, 09:23 PM
 
RE: The education debate.
It shows maturity and character to change your views on anything, and I admire that. I also admire people who are hard-working and industrious, whatever their educational level might be.

I don't think I could have become an atheist without some kind of higher education. I think that's true for people who have a very limited desire to read and expose themselves to the wider world without being "forced" to. It sounds like you're naturally curious too, which I'm sure is of great benefit to you in lots of ways.

I've always seen education (for better or worse -- probably worse) as some kind of status symbol. I couldn't care less about cars or living in a fancy house, but change my name to "Dr. Athnostic, Ph.D." and it really revs my engine. Wink
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02-01-2011, 08:31 AM
 
RE: The education debate.
According to this article, people who did not go to college have a higher rate of unemployment.
http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/news/x...-education

So if I were a parent, I would insist that my kid has a college education. However, unlike my parents who believed then, that just having a college degree would automatically lead to success, I would make sure my kid knows that in school they need to 'discover their passion and talent' because they need to know themselves better, know where they're good at and what they love to do so they will have direction and purpose which will help them make better decisions.
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03-01-2011, 08:51 AM
RE: The education debate.
The original debate was with me so I'll chime in. I've obviously got a few thoughts on the topic.

First, there is the idea of being successful. Now, that is a subjective term that will vary from person to person. However, my previous comment that if you don't have a college education the number of jobs you can get that do not involve pushing a mop or wearing a paper hat are quickly dwindling. I stand by that comment, but will add the category of doing hard labor. Even most of the skilled trades require some level of education. My comment is based on the US economy where unskilled labor jobs are quickly vanishing. I assume Canada and western Europe are the same way.

Stark, you originally made the comment about trades and what you can learn on the job. I agree it is possible to find something like you did. And, you have since gone off to start your own business and own a farm. However, let's pretend that you stuck with your original job. For how long could you do that? Could you do it when your 50? What about when you're 60?

Retirement ages keep getting pushed out. France had riots a few months ago when they wanted to raise their minimum retirement age to 62. In the US they are talking about raising it to 67. That's all great in theory but in reality once you pass 50 keeping a job becomes more difficult, and finding a job becomes harder still. But, you can still work and probably find something, even if it's on a part time basis. However, if you're career involved manual labor, at some point your body is going to break down and working is going to be just impossible for you.

Short term, you can probably survive without an education. Long term, you put your future at risk. At least, in my view you do. And, since you will generally make a lot less money without an education, the opportunity to put money away for the future is much more of an issue.

Obviously there are people who beat the odds. There always are. Exceptions always exist. But, for vast numbers of the population, not having an education is probably a sure path to life long poverty. It wasn't always that way but in the 21st century I think it is inevitable for most people.

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
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08-01-2011, 05:07 PM
 
RE: The education debate.
I stumbled across an animation of a lecture given by Sir Ken Robinson on Education. It's really interesting, and a bit scary Confused
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDZFcDGpL4U
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09-01-2011, 11:39 PM
 
RE: The education debate.
I'd like to give my 2cents regarding some points of this thread:

MOTIVATION (to succeed): Indeed motivation is very important! But to say that motivation can be a replacement for education does not make much sense, at least not for every job out there. You can be the most motivated person in the world but without that PHD you'll never be a doctor! It may be possible to succeed in a trade with less then "adequate" education, but trade involves "skill" which is in itself a form of education (sort of). This leads me to my next point

TIMELINE: Stark Raving, you mention that you are 35. That is not old by any means (I am only 27) but as a younger person I know how hard it can be to find a job that you want to specialize in. Myself, and people younger then me are going to have a harder time getting work without a needed education due to online applications, interview processes, filtering, etc. As someone who is from a previous generation, I do believe it was different in HOW you could get a job, and motivation could have been a more direct route back [just] before the internet had taken over.

DESIRE: I don't believe that everyone should get an education. At least, not if they do not know WHAT THEY WANT TO DO! There are so many college/university educated people that finish highschool only to come out with a pile of debt and still not know where to start. Kids are pressured to KNOW what they want to do right after highschool, and assuming their parents can afford to sent them to post secondary school then they will more then likely end up going because it's the "next step". I think kids need to work for a year or two if they are not sure, and get a feel for the real world. Going from grade 12 to college and thinking "OMG this sux I'm bored" is not going to be as useful as having some time to think about what you might really want to do with your life. This is just a theory, I may be totally clueless because I am not in a position where I consider myself (job-wise) "successful".
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10-01-2011, 06:12 AM
RE: The education debate.
(09-01-2011 11:39 PM)Free_Thinker Wrote:  I don't believe that everyone should get an education. At least, not if they do not know WHAT THEY WANT TO DO! There are so many college/university educated people that finish highschool only to come out with a pile of debt and still not know where to start. Kids are pressured to KNOW what they want to do right after highschool, and assuming their parents can afford to sent them to post secondary school then they will more then likely end up going because it's the "next step". I think kids need to work for a year or two if they are not sure, and get a feel for the real world. Going from grade 12 to college and thinking "OMG this sux I'm bored" is not going to be as useful as having some time to think about what you might really want to do with your life. This is just a theory, I may be totally clueless because I am not in a position where I consider myself (job-wise) "successful".

Couple of reactions to this.

First, if you don't know what you want to do, what job do you think you're going to get with just a high school education that is going to help you figure that out? The only way you get a feel for the "real world" is to go out and try to live in it. Pay your own rent, for your own food, etc. My guess is most (not all) recent high school graduates will quickly discover that the opportunities available to them are not all that great. Those going into the trades may have a different experience but even the trades generally require some type of education.

I agree college is not for everyone but for people at least living in the US, the number of opportunities you have without some kind of education that do not involve pushing a mop, wearing a paper hat and asking if you want fries with that or pumping gas are becoming ever increasingly limited. And, the jobs that do present some opportunity to make decent money are generally labor jobs that require a lot of hard physical work, something you may not be able to do when you're older.

As for the debt issue, and again focusing on the US, every state has public universities that, while not cheap, are not break the bank expensive. Yes, if you pay your own way you will come out with a pile of debt but there are numerous studies that show college more than pays for itself over the course of your life. It is one of the best return on investments you can get for your money. Debt is not a reason to avoid going on to school.

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
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10-01-2011, 08:57 AM
RE: The education debate.
Most people who do labor jobs as a career can indeed stay in their field until retirement. Just because it doesn't require a formal education doessn't mean there's nowhere to go. Yes, in my preveous job I could have continued into my 60s. Nearly every crew foreman I ever worked with started out shovelling gravel. They worked hard, and now they have a crew that works for them, a company truck that they take home at night, and take fishing on the weekends. They make good money, have great benefits, and a kick ass pension. Not a single one I know is educated beyond high school. Many others in the indusrty move on to be Heavy Equipment Operators. A skilled loader operator can make $26-$27 dollars an hour. A grader operator can make over $30, and a hoe operator makes even more. Then there's specialized machines (like what I did). Companies here are ALWAYS looking for people to work in ALL these positions.

As for motivation being a replacement for education....It does make sense in the terms I described. (Free Thinker, perhaps you missed the sentence where I said "Here's where I see failure in that logic.") I talked about TYPE of motivation. Working your way to the top (obviously not as a doctor) takes a different kind of motivation. Of course there's many fields that require an education. I thought it would be obvious that I was speaking about professions that didn't require a degree, but I guess there are still people out there who think I'm an idiot. Meh, that'll never change. LOL. So let me be very clear. My stance is that you CAN be a successful person without eductaion. I'm not saying you can do anything you want. I'm saying you can be successful. Success is, of course, determined by the individual, but generally speaking, having a nice home, enough money, etc etc, along with enjoying your work, is generally accepted as success.

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10-01-2011, 09:54 AM
RE: The education debate.
Depends on where you live, I guess. In the US, the odds of getting a pension plan at this point and even the benefits are sketchy.

And, here is the bigger issue: think about how many guys there are working on a crew and how many supervisors there are. Not everyone is going to get to that job level.

Finally, $30/hour is about $60k a year. Not awful money but not great. As you say, I guess it depends on what you want in life and how you are measuring success.

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
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