I was reading this silly little article from CNBC that reads like an ABC After School Special.
For those too young to remember, those were propaganda movies aimed at American children that had pseudo-moralistic tales of woe, always with a simple solution to defer to authority, and then all of the problems in the world would usually vanish.
They were Reefer Madness of the 1970s and 1980s.
You might think you do not need to recognize such a relic of US television, but the logic is alive and well.
In this case, Americans are being sold a load of goods about how they are "wasting" all this money on "meaningless education" by throwing money at Ivy League schools.
Not if you are studying STEM-disciplines, but those other degrees are not as solid, especially j-schools and English degrees -- not because they couldn't be profitable vocations, but they are stuck in the past, and need radical upgrades.
But the authority they appeal to is Malcolm Gladwell, who is making a ludicrous claim that Canadian universities are superior.
Keep on dreaming, Mr. Gladwell.
Even though Canadian universities are cheaper, there is a reason for it.
And student debt is also a serious problem in Canada, as is precarious employment.
We have lots of people with doctorates who have the same Joe Jobs they did before.
Unless you have a job with the government, you aren't really raking it in.
We are not the Promised Land when it comes to post-secondary education. Even teaching jobs at those levels are on contract and are very hard to come by.
The simplistic spewing is mere nationalistic fantasy. Our universities didn't solve the crisis in journalism, for instance. They didn't produce the strategists who could create a thriving private sector that wasn't dependent on US and foreign companies to employ our own citizens.
And US education at the Ivy League level is way over and beyond what we can offer here.
Journalists just allow experts to babble without evidence. I have taught on the college level and had students with university degrees go back to school because they couldn't find a job.
Or have to go outside of the country to find work.
I am a big support of post-secondary education, but let's not pretend there aren't serious problems, students debt, and need to rethink how we do things.
I do believe universities will be replaced with another model of education, and not a socialist-based one, either.
Nor a capitalist-based one.
But not for STEM-based disciplines. Universities get science. The ivory tower approach works perfectly for those fields where you can be squirrelled away in a little lab away from the Great Unwashed and play with test tubes and smelly chemicals, or work out equations as you build AI androids and try the latest cancer cure on a rat.
But universities utterly fail when it comes to professions that require being in the world and interacting with people. The Ivory Tower does not work for those professions, and the disconnect from people is destroying communications-based industries.
You need the discipline of a military education. You need the same strategies of it, too. You need the science as well as the psychology, and you need improvisational teachings of drama as well.
But not in a lab. Not in some classroom. The idea of teaching journalism in a classroom, to be blunt, is insane.
That's why I don't see universities or colleges as being the answer for certain professions. They are the ones holding it back. College is too trades oriented. Universities is too theory-based.
You need another option.
And Canada hasn't lifted a finger to change anything because they've been doing the very same thing as the US -- so where Gladwell gets his ideas is a place other than reality...