Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The One Where He Rants About Education....Again

I’m pretty sure that the whole collegiate system is overrated and ridiculous.

Don’t attack me yet.

You’re probably saying to yourself, “He’s only saying that because he didn’t accomplish anything in school.”

Hell, you may be right. I never made much of myself in high school or especially college, but I assure you that I’m smarter than most college graduates. Settle down. I’m not calling anyone stupid - at least not here, in public. I’m sure the title fits some though.

I’m simply having a hard time wrapping my head around why a college education is needed or preferred for most jobs. Sure, there are a lot of jobs that actually require specialized skills and knowledge, so, let’s assume I’m not referring to those.

Seriously, there is a plant in Calvert City that requires a bachelor’s degree to  - wait for it…




I don’t get it.

Here’s some back story on the source of this rant.

A couple of nights ago Stacey and I were talking about college education and how I had none and the fact that I can’t find a decent job without one. Our discussion led to research and speculating about reenrolling myself into classes at our local community college, and as it turns out, there is an Emergency Management and Homeland Security Certificate that can be earned there. Sounds like its right up my alley, eh? Well it is. I checked out the class requirements and they all sounded interesting and beneficial to have. I also checked their schedule and found that even with keeping my current hours at work, I could still attend all of the classes I need to with a couple of online exceptions. Great!

Having a few additional questions, I emailed the head of this department with my contact info. Jump forward to yesterday evening, and the professor called me to touch base and answer my questions personally instead of through email. I thought that was a nice touch.

Quick response. Personal service.

I was impressed.

My main question for this gentleman was regarding jobs in this area of the country with that education level. Are they available? Do they require the certificate? He informed me that jobs were available, but unless you wanted to go the Police, Firefighter, of Emergency Responder route, they were few and far between. He let me know that most people who took these classes enrolled to get promotions or pay increases at jobs they currently had – specifically security officers at - you guessed it – plants in Calvert City. He said as far as law enforcement jobs, the certificate was not required, they just wanted to know that applicants can “read and write.”

Well then, Mr. Educator, what the hell is the point? I asked him that in a more courteous and professional manner, but he never really had an answer. He did let me know that I could meet with him in person and we could talk more extensively to find out if the program would fit my needs. I have no ill will towards him at all. He was friendly and professional and as informative as I feel he could be. He did let me know how to apply and emailed me available openings in his schedule in case I decided I wanted to meet with him.

I don’t get it. If these courses are not required or truly even recommended, why do they exist? Is this college just trying to prey upon someone who finds this subject matter interesting and important? I don’t have an answer to these questions, and I’m not sure there is one.

College education is always something I have had an odd opinion of – at least regarding myself. I have no interest or desire to go and take classes I am not interested in and will ultimately have nothing to do with my field of study. My best friend in this world is an Attorney and, I kid you not, took a Botany class in college. In what world is this ever needed? It’s a waste of time and money as far as I am concerned – then again, he knew what he wanted to do with his life and he stopped at nothing to achieve this. At one point in my short and failure-filled collegiate experience, I entertained the notion of becoming an accountant. Come to find out shortly thereafter, I had to have a Biology class and lab. And Public Speaking. And US History. To crunch numbers and do people’s taxes. I do not understand it. I guess it’s a system for getting rid of people like me who feel intellectually superior to the chemistry majors writing their sonnets. 

Sure, they’ll most likely be paid more than me and end up more successful than I am, but I’ll still have my narrow minded view of the world and the people who inhabit it.

1 comment:

  1. Now it seems like a bachelor's degree isn't even enough to get a job anymore. If you want to make any money with anything, then you have to go back to get your masters.
    Classes are expensive and the books are even more outrageous. I have yet to understand why it's okay to charge $300 for a book that will only get used 1 semester before the department deems it "outdated" and requires you to buy a new one.
    The positive thing about this - for us - is that even though we don't possess those degrees that would make us more money, we also do not have those student loans to pay off. In 15 years when everyone else has finally paid their loans off and still have another 15 years to go on their mortgages, we'll be debt free.