Why Pay Full Price for College When You Can Find it Online for Way Cheaper?
Posted by Melissa Wimbish
This article, published in the NY Times about a year and a half ago, raises some “educated” reasons as to why higher education in the age of the Internet is kind of a ripoff::
All your life, parents, teachers, and guidance counselors have drilled the idea into your head that you must go to college. It has been made clear that if you don’t get good grades and attend a four-year college, the rest of your life will be a dismal failure.
I’m arguing that all of this is wrong. The social cues that defined what you thought about education ought to be questioned.
There is a community of people who are making a different choice. Instead of going into debt, they are taking the future into their own hands. They are using the real world to find mentors and learn practical skills. They are traveling, volunteering, interning and apprenticing.
While many might see this path as extremely risky, I argue that going to school and graduating with an average of $26,000-plus in debt is at least as risky in today’s uncertain job market.
Of course, debt is not the only factor to consider when making decisions about higher education. Learning outcomes are also important, but there are disturbing numbers there as well. According to “Academically Adrift” — a book based on a study about undergraduate education in the United States — as many as 45 percent of students show “no improvement in critical thinking, complex reasoning or written communication during their first two years in college.”
Furthermore, some recent college graduates are not faring too well in the job market. According to the economist Andrew Sum of Northeastern University, more than 44 percent of college graduates under 25 who were area studies majors were unemployed in 2009 or working in a job that did not require their degree.
Today, self-directed learning is easier than ever. Not long ago, if you told someone that the Internet was coming, there was no chance they would have believed you. Now, you can learn, on your own, the skills you need to succeed. Not only are the resources free, but they’re accessible from nearly anywhere in the world. Continue reading the full article here!
How does this apply to the field of music? Do you think that musicians of the 21st century can build a fruitful career without the aid of college connections? Are the (alleged) skills we acquire in college really so unattainable without a structured entity and stupidly high tuition guiding our way? Weigh in below.