In an article written by Bryan Caplan, Bryan analyzes both the positives and negative sides of higher education, reinstating a notion that college is not the best option for today’s growing young community. He explains this through several studies taken, as well as his own opinionated arguments.
Caplan begins by emphasizing that college is simply a huge waste both financially and time-wise. It is clear that those who earn college degrees receive more opportunity and more often than not, a higher salary. But Caplan questions this view that college “pays” but asking why college provides these benefits. Most college officials would say that students learn useful skills and the typical student retains a wide variety of knowledge. Caplan completely disagrees.Bryan begins his evaluation of this argument’s validity by providing the following counter-arguments.
From the start of a child’s education, one is taught hours upon hours of subjects that are completely irrelevant to today’s job market. This market pays individuals for the traits one possesses by mastering the useless subjects taught in schools.In a study discussed in the article, it is found that senior year of college brings double the pay increase than the 3 previous years combined. Reinstating Caplan’s argument that time and money are resources wasted through the process of retrieving a college education.Caplan then begins to discuss how little knowledge a college student actually acquires in school. In a study conducted in 2003, the US Department of Education tested how literate American students were. Less than a third of graduates achieved a score of proficient, and a fifth were basic or below.
This furthers Caplan’s arguments that college graduates rarely remember most of the knowledge learned throughout their years in college. It is also noted that college’s educational benefits seemed to be at an extreme low, fourth-year students performed no better than freshman year students. The article then begins to address the idea that not all students learn in the same way. Caplan states that education’s social benefits cannot be measured by just grades and earnings. Rate if failure is high and it is noted that 60 percent of college students do not finish all four years of their program.
The answer is simple, the pressures of retrieving a college education have pushed many students into a failed attempt, while they could be excelling in other forms of education, mainly vocational education.Brian Caplan proceeds to discuss the benefits of this alternative form of education, it teaches job-specific skills, involves hands-on learning rather than listening to an uninspiring professor, heightens pay, and lessens the rate of unemployment. Due to societal pressure, and the heightened credential inflation, a college degree is highly stressed. Although simply put, if every individual has a degree, there are no jobs. Caplan concludes his statements by stating that today’s education is taken for granted.
Forcing it upon students does not create success, it creates the heightened possibility of a failure.