Saturday, October 08, 2011
Does College Matter?
On one side you have people who believe that a college degree is the new high school diploma, and that you can just barely get a job if you don't have one. On the other side are people who cannot afford the price tag to send their kid (who doesn't really want to go) to college, and who wonder if their kid will ever be suited for the kind of job that will command a high enough salary to be worth graduating with thousands of dollars in student loan debt.
I confess that I fall into the second camp. I put myself through school back in the Dark Ages and spent just over $3,000 for just over three years being indoctrinated into the same anti-American, overthrow-the-greedy-corporations, make-my-rich-neighbor-pay-my-bills, God-is-dead claptrap that is still being preached in American universities 40 years later. I became a member of the local Young Socialists chapter and raged against the machine for just over three years on an accelerated foreign language program under the tutelage of a militant homosexual activist, all the while being disabused of any archaic notions of morality, religion or capitalism. My "college education" was mostly politicized, the academic portion was mediocre and forgettable, and the main thing it accomplished was to make me hard and angry, and derail my quest for God for another 13 years.
This experience soured me on college for my own kids, and my husband and I have been at loggerheads about it for years. Since I went to the trouble to homeschool them for 12 years, I really hated the idea of them meeting some charismatic Pied Piper during their freshman year that would lead them down a path that they might not be able to resist.
My daughter did go to college. So far, my son has not. My husband is a nervous wreck about this, and yet I am strangely indifferent. Here's why:
A number of bloggers have weighed in on the death of Steve Jobs this week, but this is probably an angle most people did not write about, except for the folks at Babble.com. Steve Jobs was a college dropout!
In the article "30 Wildly Successful College Drop Outs", Sunny Chanel of the Strollerderby blog, provides great encouragement to parents like me who have sons or daughters who just don't have a clue what they want to do with their lives.
She profiles 30 wildly successful college dropouts, from the well known - like Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Ted Turner and Steve Jobs - to the less known, like Barry Diller whose websites include CitySearch, Ticketmaster, and Lending Tree.
You will be amazed who didn't go to college! So here's a question for you. Everyone who reads this is going to have an opinion one way or the other. I would love to hear why -- or why not -- you think a college degree is important.