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Old 01-23-2023, 10:14 PM
 
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Over in this thread, https://www.city-data.com/forum/educ...t-drag-30.html TMS & R4T brought up the point of whether college was for job preparation or "broadening of the mind and intellectual stimulation?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by TMSRetired View Post
Once college turned into "everyone needs to go to college" the entire thrust of college turned into job preparation.

What happened to the broadening of the mind ? Intellectual stimulation ?
Isn't that what the gen ed classes gave you ?

I was an engineering major but thoroughly enjoyed art appreciation, music appreciation, literature and history classes. I even took a music theory class and piano 101.
[quote=Ruth4Truth;64773967]Exactly! That all is considered an unaffordable luxury now. Probably when you went to college, tuition wasn't so horrifically hyper-inflated.
[quote=Ruth4Truth;64773967]

That is a topic worthy of discussion by itself. I confess to being a bit in both camps myself, as college was the one time in my life where thought was open and fully encouraged. Yet at the same time I was in college with a specific end goal in mind and college was essential to the goal. And to clarify for some, by this I do NOT mean a piece of paper, but specific knowledge and skills I needed for the career I wanted.

Would I have loved more time to study other topics? Certainly. But that wasn't and isn't realistic for most people. College comes at a cost of both time and treasure. And most people need to minimize both those costs.

College? Is it for intellectual stimulation, to the extent of course/degree programs that have little return on investment? Or is it for preparation for a career?
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Old 01-23-2023, 10:34 PM
 
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I'm going to challenge the dichotomy in the OP.

Work is ennobling. Work encourages many good traits such as mastery, craftsmanship, diligence, and cooperation. I don't put intellectual pursuits on a pedestal because frankly they are available to only a small part of the population. It is elitist to lionize the life of the mind.

The vast majority of people need to work. It is far healthier to adopt the attitude that since work is inevitable, we should make the best of it and take pride in our work. It is not all wine and roses of course, but I hate hate hate the denigration of labor in American culture. It is a holdover from aristocratic days that is alien to a modern, democratic society.

College can be both job training and character formation at the same time. Intellectuals aren't the only people who strive to improve themselves and society, think about big ideas, and dream about a better world. Everyone does that and we should celebrate it in all walks of life instead of walling off a majority of the population because of an outdated, aristocratic attitude towards work.
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Old 01-24-2023, 09:30 AM
 
Location: NMB, SC
41,645 posts, read 17,237,632 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avondalist View Post
I'm going to challenge the dichotomy in the OP.

Work is ennobling. Work encourages many good traits such as mastery, craftsmanship, diligence, and cooperation. I don't put intellectual pursuits on a pedestal because frankly they are available to only a small part of the population. It is elitist to lionize the life of the mind.

The vast majority of people need to work. It is far healthier to adopt the attitude that since work is inevitable, we should make the best of it and take pride in our work. It is not all wine and roses of course, but I hate hate hate the denigration of labor in American culture. It is a holdover from aristocratic days that is alien to a modern, democratic society.

College can be both job training and character formation at the same time. Intellectuals aren't the only people who strive to improve themselves and society, think about big ideas, and dream about a better world. Everyone does that and we should celebrate it in all walks of life instead of walling off a majority of the population because of an outdated, aristocratic attitude towards work.
I agree with the bolded above. While I majored in engineering I did appreciate all the other classes I took.
They expanded my knowledge and opened areas that I would have never pursued on my own.

I'm curious and like learning for the sake of learning. Not everyone is like that though and some just want training to land a job.

It just comes across to me that today people would rather remain shallow and just learn hard skills.
Very little intellectual/philisophical conversations. (we did have a lot of those when I was working in tech).

Society is changing whether we like it or not. Being "intellectual" is frowned upon.
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Old 01-24-2023, 09:54 AM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
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Both. A good college degree develops both the skill set for that first job out of college as well as the writing, critical thinking skills and problem solving scaffolding that will enable you to advance in your career over time.

It also encourages you to see the beauty in other parts of life, and encourage you to actively explore stuff you’ve discovered is interesting rather than passively just taking whatever entertainment is interesting, and have the tools to be a more thoughtful member of your local community with the better ability to advocate for ways to make your life better and your community better.
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Old 01-24-2023, 12:16 PM
 
Location: Shawnee-on-Delaware, PA
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Yeah, I think "both" is going to be a popular answer.

Back in olden times, a college or university education was reserved for the wealthy or those studying for the clergy. They would learn Latin, Greek, mathematics, rhetoric, et cetera.

In modern times when "everyone" is supposed to go to college, college has to be dumbed down for the masses or they'll flunk out even more frequently than they do now. Hence, we have community colleges, on-line colleges, and local branches of land grant universities. Those are your diploma mills that teach kids who in the 1950's and 60's would have gone to a technical or secretarial school.

Full disclosure: I flunked out of a private working-class college after 1 year and then went to night school for computer programming. My wife has a master's degree and both of our kids are college graduates.
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Old 01-24-2023, 12:36 PM
 
Location: NMB, SC
41,645 posts, read 17,237,632 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtab4994 View Post
Yeah, I think "both" is going to be a popular answer.

Back in olden times, a college or university education was reserved for the wealthy or those studying for the clergy. They would learn Latin, Greek, mathematics, rhetoric, et cetera.

In modern times when "everyone" is supposed to go to college, college has to be dumbed down for the masses or they'll flunk out even more frequently than they do now. Hence, we have community colleges, on-line colleges, and local branches of land grant universities. Those are your diploma mills that teach kids who in the 1950's and 60's would have gone to a technical or secretarial school.

Full disclosure: I flunked out of a private working-class college after 1 year and then went to night school for computer programming. My wife has a master's degree and both of our kids are college graduates.
We used to call them the "matchbook colleges" as they advertised getting your degree on matchbook covers.
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Old 01-24-2023, 03:28 PM
 
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I believe the humanities & what was called liberal arts are supposed to be not merely about earnings, at least supposedly.
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Old 01-24-2023, 04:00 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
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College education used to expose your mind to broadening your thought processes, it also brought resources available to students that were most accessible and available in college situations. (Music, experimental labs, political presentors, theological debates...)

Some college academics prepared students for performing career functions, but the career is where you had to apply the knowledge / methods to learn aquired at college.

That's not so much the case anymore (if you've hired a college grad in the last 10+ yrs).
There is very little skillset brought to the table, and equally weak innovation.

Work ethic was learned pre-age 12.
How to apply learnings to your career are very weak currently. College has minimal value to employment. Even the higher skilled engineers we interviewed were woefully ill-equipped to consider entry level contributors. They just could no longer 'do-it' as could their peers of yesteryear. (actually knew how to do something, and if not, they were inquisitive and talented and equipped enough to figure out a solution). No more.
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Old 01-24-2023, 04:15 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, 615' Elevation, Zone 8b - originally from SF Bay Area
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Both and/or either. Thinking about myself and others that I know, most of us have successful careers that would not have been possible without our degrees, but yet are not in the area of our majors. I'm a manager in commercial/industrial real estate with a degree in Psychology, my boss (Director) has a degree in art. My employees have various degrees, such as business, accounting, and political science, none in Real Estate. One relative didn't get have a degree and was working in a clerical job for 10 years, then got a degree in IT, and soon after a big promotion to a developer job at the same company. Our 3 kids all have degrees, only one working in the field of his major.

In my jobs and those for which I have hired, most require a degree, but not specific to any particular major. Even those that do will say "or a related field." The degree means that (hopefully) the person has developed self discipline, critical thinking skills, the ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing. They will also have learned to used standard office software, and to relate to other people of diverse backgrounds.
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Old 01-24-2023, 06:52 PM
 
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A lot of what I learned, I learned watching TV.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eeLaRzF0WYg
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