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.
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