It’s Simply Red Herring
The main article of this book is that higher education, generally, has become in many ways and for many people, a kind of very expensive extended playpen, a place to stash young people who society deems not ready for the workforce but too unmanageable to keep at home. According to Bird, college is a place for young people to simmer a bit, to age. Bird makes a case that people learn little in the way of substantial and useful information and skills, but mainly bide their time until they can get a degree that helps them get a job, whereupon they begin to learn what they really need to know. Meantime, colleges are in the business of wooing students and persuading their parents to invest large sums of money to support faculty and services that aren’t really very useful or essential. A big scam, really, that society foists upon itself by insisting that college is the prerequisite for most of the elite jobs in economy, when in no very substantial way does it prepare people for those jobs. Bird makes no pretense at objectivity, and argues that we should not attend college for the sake of an elite job.
Bird offers the reason of going to college could land a satisfying career through attaining a degree. Odds are this is not a good idea. According to Bird, Liberal-Arts education is supposed to provide you with a value system, a standard, a set of ideas, not a job. Bird states that colleges fail to warn students that high paying jobs are hard to come by, and they rarely accept the responsibility of helping students choose a career that will lead to a job. Bird cites The Department of Labor, it estimates there will be 4,300 new jobs for psychologists in 1975 while colleges are expected to turn out 58,430 BA’s in the psychology field that year. So, these jobs are so in demand that these jobs can be filled without offering high salaries.
As Bird implies, it is more advantageous to earn the money now rather than after going to college. For this reason, A College bound high school gradate who likes fooling around with cars could have banked 34,181, and gone to work at the local garage at close to $1,000 more per year than the average high school graduate. Meanwhile, as he was learning to be an expert mechanic, his money would be ticking away at the bank. When he becomes 28, he would have earned $7,199 less on his job from 22 to 28 than his college-educated friend, but he’d acquire his own new-car dealership. If successful in business, he could expect to make more than the average college graduate does. Bird claims that students of today do not understand that financial returns alone, students would be better off with the money than with the education. This would mean that going to college is a greater financial risk.
According to Bird, obtaining liberal arts education is supposed form a foundation of ideals, and getting a degree does not prepare you for anything. And if money were what you are aiming for, you would rather be off going into business. Therefore, to go to college solely for the reason of attaining a high paying job should not be the reason.