Skills or paper…

I was thinking about “well travelled path” and what comes with it, you know, go to school, then go to college, get a degree and the world is your sort of thing.  As time goes by, I can not help  but to think that this idea-to some extend-does not make much sense, especially in the light of recent manufactured crisis and all implications of it.

Think for a second, I am a generation that has been trained to think that way, I remember that in the ` 90, everybody “knew” we have to go to college in order to get a job paid enough to be happy. The was a time when skills like carpentry, plumbing, cooking or car mechanic were something degrading to an average individual. Tele adverts and publications were pushing this idea of education down our throats 24/7. It came to the point where tons of ridiculous classes sprung up around the country:

-Philosophy and Star Trek (Georgetown),  Elvis as Anthology ( University of Pennsylvania), Zombies in popular media (Columbia College) to name the few.

Bunch of schools popped up, offering low interest loans to students just to get them in…

Even more mainstream ideas of education like  marketing and advertising and business have somehow saturated the market to the point of a joke. There are countries where you can throw a rock into the air and you will hit a “businessman” with a masters degree on his way to work at a ASDA or a shoe store, for a minimum wage…

How did we arrive to this state? To stay away from conspiracies, we stick to the facts and you can draw a conclusion yourself. After few decades of pushing higher education at all cost (yes, they come very expensive nowadays), we have lost the ability to provide people with life skills to the society. Everyone wants to be a suit wearing businessman at all costs, all want to have what is considered a good life.  Millions of young people get into debt up their necks to get a piece of paper that says “degree”  and a bunch of fancy stamps on it, thinking that this will open every door they need to succeed.

Think, 10 minutes of logic should put you on the right track; if there are 25 people in a class, all studying business management, there are multiple classes in one school, thousands of school within one country, we can easily estimate how many hundreds of thousands of ” management” people we deliver each year to the job market. Guess what, how many bosses an average corporation does have? Hundreds? Dozens? I do not think so, it is just a matter of time when all we have will be folks with magical degrees and a desire to manage- but manage who?  Who is going to work when all young people want to do is to be on top managing? At some point the market will saturate itself and a business management degree will be worth-nothing, especially when hundreds of thousands of people  have it.

Now, I am not advocating not going to school and becoming a bum-by any means! What I am trying to say-is to follow your heart, your interests and passions instead following what other people tell you you should do. Going to college and getting degree in something you do not give 2 monkeys about is a waste of time. Not only that, you will go into a mountain of debt to obtain this piece of paper and thus have a real good start into adulthood- £ 40 000 down-before you even score a job…

If you want to study-great, just make sure it is something  YOU want, not your dad, not your mum and not your TV guru sending you flyers home of how wonderful your life will be if only you get this qualification, think and follow your mind-that is the only advise I would give to anyone.

We are at the very weird place already, try to find a decent tile installer to fix your bathroom, get an electrician out of the phone book that REALLY knows what he is doing, or a highly skilled  carpenter to do some amazing job in your flat-good luck with that one folks.  We all look for people that know people, someone who will be “trustworthy” so we do not have to trust just any specialist, because they will most likely mess up the job. This is where we already are.  And if you want someone with masters in business management or advertising- most likely there will be at least 20 people within your eye range, amazingly weird situation.

Sure, the machines will soon replace most of manual or assembly jobs, but I do not see a scenario when a machine comes to your house and fixes your door or furnace any time soon, or will cook you a nice dinner, maybe in 50 years, but not now.  And when this time comes, the unskilled workers will not be in demand anyway, if there is nothing you are able to do, have no skills at all- you will depend on a government handouts till you get old and that is a scary prospect.

Once again, there is absolutely nothing wrong with going to college or university, nothing wrong with getting a degree and even going into debt to get there- not the end of the world, you can do it. But remember one thing, do it because YOU want it, do it because you want to be someone specific, you will be happy to pursue this carrier and eager to get there and make your stamp- and make decent money doing it. Then, by all means jump right in, but if you go just because it is expected of you and you could not care less about it- then you will be in trouble, with degree in worthlessness, few years wasted and a mountain of debt-as a good start.



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