Monday, March 17, 2014

What's in a degree

Mike Rowe, champion of us "under-educated" folk, gave another interview challenging the idea that everyone must go to college. Don't get me wrong, college is awesome, and much needed for several careers. No one wants someone in the medical field who didn't go to college. However, did you know that it requires a masters degree to be a librarian? I'm sure there is a lot more to it than knowing the Dewey decimal system, but still, a masters degree? Is there something about that job that requires only rich people or people willing to take on massive debt can do it? Probably not. Not to mention the fact that it is a rapidly declining field.
For many years now America has failed to recognize that many people, like myself, learn more in the field than they ever would in a classroom. For those people, hustling in an entry level job for a year is worth a couple of years of college. Three years in the field trumps a college degree for us. Being an apprentice or intern will teach you more about a job than any college lecture ever could. And yet, "degree required" is standard on job listings these days. 
On the flip side of this, the state of GA is now requiring all students to take some vo-tech classes. One size does not fit all! It never has, and never will. The answer is not to force everyone into the same box. The answer is to stop attaching shame and failure to the different boxes. 
I want my children to work hard towards the career that will best suit them. Maybe that work will be done in a classroom, and maybe it will be done with a toolbox. Either way I will be a proud mother. 

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