School is all about signaling, not skill-building
Source: Hacker News
Article note: The author (an economist) oversells their case a little, but I don't fully disagree. My bad attitude about credentialism is both the source of most of my problems in academia, and the reason why I find teaching so compelling. I don't generally expect a lot of correlation between credentials and competence (Too many dumbasses with degrees and highly competent people with no formal credentials in my areas), BUT that isn't because of a _fundamental_ problem with college.
Also helpful teaching at a school I have degrees from, it keeps me in the "If I let dumbshits through, it devalues all the other degrees from this program" mindset.
A worthwhile college education is teaching you:
- Intellectual and practical fundamentals in a field (underlying principles, terminology, etc.)
- How to learn in a field (ties to the first)
- Exposure to a field (what parts do you like working with. Enough of the other parts so you can work adjacent to them without being a menace. Etc.)
- Buying you time when you can focus on self-development.
- One last attempt to impose some general educational grounding to give you enough context to not be a goddamn idiot.
- Demonstrating a minimum level of drive, follow-through, and social competence.
Often, programs fall short, and higher ed as it currently exists deserves to die when it really does only serve as status signaling.Comments
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