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May be another thread regarding high level education?

  1. Jan 23, 2012 #1
    May be another thread regarding "high level" education?

    Just stumped upon a news saying a little girl, who's only 14 and do nothing other than sitting in front of a comp all day, was hired (in my country there are legal holes) by a major outsourcing player as an intermediate software engineer.

    This really got me thinking. Most companies are about making money, so they really don't care much about your diploma. And most engineering schools are all about teaching you everything that you might use in the future, but businesses usually require a very narrow spectrum of them, if you work for company like Adobe, even you know a lot about PHP, ASP, C, C++, fortran, java... all of them, only a few or even only one of those languages will come into use.

    I hear that in germany, professional education is really mature, after high school, you really don't have to go to an university in order to get a nice job, rather, you go to certain training programs that specializes in some aspect, like operating high precision numerical controlled machine tools, and you will get a chance to work for airbus, thus getting a highly paid job.

    So the question is: is college education really necessary? For getting a good job? Or more specifically, what can you learn from college/universities that you normally can't learn from home or work?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 23, 2012 #2


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    Re: May be another thread regarding "high level" education?

    Far too many people go to university in my opinion. This is a bad thing and there are going to be big consequences [strike]in the future[/strike] starting now when tens of thousands of graduates find that their degree isn't worth the paper it's written on and we have a huge portion of 18-25 year olds with massive amounts of debt and nothing to show for it.

    The problem is that universities (in the UK at least, I can't speak for anywhere else) offer crap courses just so that they can rake in money and universities have popped up everywhere. Honestly it's staggering how many University Of Nowheres there are that offer mediocre courses in "music events management" or "film studies." This problem is coupled with an obsession with credentialism; increasingly people can't get work unless they have paper to prove they can do it (this has also led to a wealth of new qualifications that most employers have no idea about)

    In my opinion we are going to see a big bust in the higher education industry at some point in the next few decades when universities become bankrupted both financially and reputation wise.

    Having said that there are still very good reasons for some professions to require a university degree. You can read on the internet and from books as much as you like but that wont make you a doctor, or a scientist etc.

    Last point is that universities (again in my opinion) shouldn't mainly be about getting a job. This again is linked to credentialism, universities should be places where the best and brightest from the sciences (life/tech/social) and the humanities go to learn and push back the boundaries of our knowledge. If you want a career 90% of the time you should just get a job and work up. Unfortunately the world doesn't work like that anymore.
  4. Jan 23, 2012 #3
    Re: May be another thread regarding "high level" education?

    I would like to point out tech/software industries do not represent all the careers in the world.

    It might be possible to compare these new industries with science during Newton's period.
  5. Jan 23, 2012 #4
    Re: May be another thread regarding "high level" education?

    This is a rather blatant misrepresentation of Germany. Germany has the top of engineering and academic education. Maybe the Japanese are on par, but that's about it. Moreover, it is a country where you hardly get a job without sufficient qualifications.
  6. Jan 23, 2012 #5
    Re: May be another thread regarding "high level" education?

    And I would like to point out that most tech is not academic. Programming PHP has nothing to do with CS. Not all people who use telescopes are astronomers.
  7. Jan 23, 2012 #6


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    Re: May be another thread regarding "high level" education?

    I agree that if you don't need a university education for the job or career you desire, there's no need to get one.

    For the same reasons everyone has mentioned already, reality doesn't quite fit with what's ideal, but here is my ideal view of how to decide if you should get a higher education. Are you doing it to get a specific job, or are you doing it to get A job that will offer a chalenge as you try to solve new problems? If it's the former, on the job training or trade school should be enough. If it's the latter, then you should consider a university education.
  8. Jan 24, 2012 #7
    Re: May be another thread regarding "high level" education?

    Something else that enters this equation is that company lawyers will influence company hiring policies in the direction of hiring "well qualified" workers, they don't want the company to get screwed in a lawsuit because the guy that designed the wingnuts that held the wings on wasn't a graduate engineer, no matter how smart he was. It's hard to work your way up under this circumstance.
  9. Jan 29, 2012 #8
    Re: May be another thread regarding "high level" education?

    I was gonna say something like that but you beat me to it...
  10. Jan 29, 2012 #9
    Re: May be another thread regarding "high level" education?

    Excellent point! Application of science != science.
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