This one goes out to all the “Asian” grinds who’ll grow up to work for rich white boys who dropped out and started a businesses:
In the recent movie “The Social Network,” Mark Zuckerberg is shown devoting endless hours in his room to computer programming. He goes to a few parties, but mostly he is engaged in his new business venture, “the Facebook.” How is this possible, one might wonder? Was he flunking out of his classes? No. Thanks to the wonders of grade inflation and the lack of a serious core curriculum, it is possible to get through Harvard and a number of other high-price universities acing your computer science classes and devoting very little effort to anything else.
Colleges and universities have allowed their value to slip by letting students call this an undergraduate education. There is no compelling understanding among students of why they are there. Studying is not how they spend even the bulk of their waking hours, and their classes seem random at best. They may spend Monday in “19th Century Women’s Literature,” Tuesday in “Animal Behavior” and Wednesday in “Eastern Philosophy,” but these courses may bear little relation to any they took the previous semester or any they will take the next. (…)
Beyond the top tier, there are also gaping holes in higher education. Executives at U.S. companies routinely complain about the lack of reading, writing and math skills in the recent graduates they hire. Maybe they too will get tired of using higher education as a credentialing system. Maybe it will be easier to recruit if they don’t have to be concerned about the overwhelming student debt of their new employees.
Employers may decide that there are better ways to get high school students ready for careers. What if they returned to the idea of apprenticeship, not just for shoemakers and plumbers but for white-collar jobs? College as a sorting process for talent or a way to babysit 18-year-olds is not very efficient for anyone involved.