What should be the purpose of a university education?

Discussion in 'Education' started by Leo2, Jun 10, 2012.

  1. Leo2

    Leo2 Well-Known Member

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    At another place this topic was launched with the question - What SHOULD the purpose of higher education be?

    My family has always given me to understand that the purpose of higher education is to prepare you to get the most out of life, not simply to earn a higher income. I am starting my first year of reading for twin degrees - A Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of International & Global Studies, and I intend to practice at the bar when I gain suitable qualifications. This is a five year degree, but I intend, if I am capable, to go on to a Masters in International Law. Nevertheless, I feel the primary value of my education will be the exposure to new and potentially interesting fields of knowledge.

    My view was challenged by people who wrote stuff like this -
    [TABLE]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: alt2"] If you go get your 'higher education' for any reason other than specific skills needed to advance in the job market to a better spot, you are probably wasting your time and money. All the fluff they force you to take to pad the college bank accounts is a waste, and if you want a 'higher view' of the 'big picture' on stuff, read books, get out in the world and learn, you don't need to pay a college to have a professor without real world experience telling you what he/she thinks or telling you what a book says. [/TD]
    [/TR]
    [/TABLE]

    Anyone here have an opinion on the subject in general? Is the purpose of higher education the prospect of earning more money, or is it the preparation for a more interesting, and potentially rewarding life?
     
  2. Diuretic

    Diuretic Well-Known Member

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    Why "or"? Why not "and"?
     
  3. Leo2

    Leo2 Well-Known Member

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    LOL, I assumed the 'and' was a given. But the objection seemed to be to the learning interesting stuff (which you won't need in your new career of digging ditches). :)
     
  4. septimine

    septimine New Member

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    Well, I see the modern uni as job training, mostly for the expense involved. I don't think it's responsible to spend $100K and be in debt for that much to simply "better yourself". And getting the education for that is easier than most people think -- texts are cheap or free, and all that it would cost you to learn philosophy is a few good texts and a few lunch hours. It's how I'm studying history -- get a cheap book on a subject in history that interests me, read it, compare it to things going on today. Since study helps are also available online, it's not tough to ge a uni level education without the uni cost.
     
  5. sunnyside

    sunnyside Well-Known Member

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    The purpose of a University education is breadth. This is in contrast to something vary narrow like just becoming Cisco certified or going to a trade school whatnot.

    This is a practical thing as well. For one thing you might not have guessed correctly on your senior year of high school what you are best at and what you want to do for the rest of your lift.

    For another it's unlikely you'll be able to get through life as a professional doing a narrowly focused thing. That's just not the way the job market works anymore. You need flexibility in your skillset to not only go after other jobs to a degree, but also to take opportunities to expand within whatever your current job is.

    For example a lawyer with some basics in engineering could start leaning over toward patent law.

    It is also about opportunities. At a high ranked university, the professors are more about their research than actually teaching. Get in on that research, work with them. Leverage that to get some internships in the field. You'll want those things, and the resulting references, when you graduate.

    Just taking the classes and nothing else is a good way to end up in debt and your parents basement.
     
  6. PatrickT

    PatrickT Well-Known Member

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    There is not one universal purpose that fits everyone. For some, it's a way to avoid getting a job and having to get up and go to work. For some, there is a career path they want to follow that starts with a degree. For some there is a consuming passion in their life and they want to explore it. For some, it's a combination.
     
  7. Clint Torres

    Clint Torres New Member

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    Fact is this.

    If you know what you want in life, and are organized, skilled, and have the ability to go out and get it you will succeed in whatever you do.

    If you lack those traits,and if you lack the character to plan, organize, and acheive, you will fail, and no amount of college education will get you there.

    If you are a 10%er (top-10%) and qualify to serve your country, that would be the best option if you do not know what you want in life, and lack the skills to acheive and succeed. It will make a man or woman out of you, and will give you the character and skills they fail to teach in grade school. College will always be there for when you know wat you want.

    Another thing, IMO, only fools take out loans for higher education. If a person does not have the character and skills for a scholorship, they do not need to go to college just to go to college. It ain't worth it. Every kid should work and earn money for their own college. By doing that college will be serious bidness and will mean more to the student.

    Too many spoiled mama's boys and imature kids attend college for no good reason. And they leach off their parents and suck up money from loans. And in the end, they get a degree they can't use and are in debt for 20 years, and they are broke as the two broke girls on TV. That is a great way to start life for the first 30 years of living.

    If you get a BA you can use it for may different fields vs a specific BS degree. Nevertheless, a degree like political science, cultural anthropology, psychology, and other social and cultural studies will allow you to apply criticle thinking to stuff for the rest of your life. Stuff like investing, politics, meida knowledge, medicine and medical research, and other crap where the marketteers and ad propaganda will try to con you for money.

    Knowing about research how it works, and were/who pays for it will allow you to know about investing, and how to manag your money and other great stuff the public schools and universities will not teach you.

    As a result, you will succeed in life financialy and intellectually, vs. following the masses of ignorant broke fools who are duped every day buy the propaganda that takes over their life.
     

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