I read an interesting article in The Telegraph on the Value of A Degree which I am reproducing . after my comments.
At the age of 62, as I look upon my Academic qualification , my job and present status, I am shocked that what I did through out my adult Life had no relevance to what I had studied.
I hold a Degree in Philosophy/Psychology.( that too University First Rank!)
I could not get any job and hence I took up the job of a Sale Representative.
I had absolutely no idea as to what Sales was all about,( even now I hold the same view)
I had been successful in my career ans served MNCs in Senior capacity and Retired as a General Manager-marketing.
My Degree of Philosophy had no relevance to my profession.
Till my degree , I studied Algebra, Trigonometry,Organic and Inorganic Chemistry,Calculus!
I never used Algebraic equations in sales!
My son is B.Com and MBA.(HR)
Now he is a Senior IT Professional.
My Daughter is B.Com.Till recently she was in Marketing Yahoo.
I can quote a number of instances,
By and large the present Education System neither qualifies you for where you land nor enhances Character.
One reason ,I surmise . is that we can not or do not plan our career.
Even in a planned career, you do not land where you want to, unless you become an Entrepreneur.
In that case the skill needed is that of Entrepreneurship .
When I look at Discoveries in Science or Arts it seems to have been enriched by people with passion for a subject and generally with no formal education to speak about!
Last year the Government released a research paper that spelt it out. For doctors and dentists, a degree is a prerequisite. They will earn £400,000 more over a lifetime, as you might expect, having been fully trained for a well-paid profession. But for students admitted to less rigorous degrees, the premium quickly diminishes – especially for men. Those who graduate in the subjects I studied, history and philosophy, can expect to earn a paltry £35 a year more than non-graduates. For graduates in “mass communication” the premium is just £120 a year. But both are better value than a degree in “creative arts”, where graduates can actually expect to earn £15,000 less, over a lifetime, than those who start work aged 18.
With employment, it’s not much better. The old joke – “What do you say to an arts graduate? ‘Big Mac and fries, please’ ”– has all too much resonance now. Of recent graduates, almost a third are in jobs that don’t require anything more than GCSEs. One in 10 recent graduates is now on the dole. All youth unemployment is tragic, but there is something especially scandalous about young people who have been sold a vision of graduate life, only to find it was a piece of spin to sweeten the bitter pill of student loans. The mis-selling of higher education is one of the least remarked-upon scandals of our time.
The simplistic argument – that the brightest get the best grades and go to the best universities – would be more convincing if Britain had a meritocratic education system. But here, perhaps more than any other country, the quality of exam results are linked to background. For all the egalitarian aims of the comprehensive school system, it has produced the opposite: a system where a direct relationship can be drawn between pupils’ exam results and their families’ wealth. Scandalously few of those who live in our sink estates will have done much celebrating after their A-levels yesterday.
The league tables, showing the best state schools, bear a suspicious resemblance to prosperity indices. And this is not, to paraphrase Neil Kinnock, because British children from poor backgrounds are thick. It is strange how, after each set of A-level results, there is a uproar about how many pupils who qualified for free school meals are admitted into Oxford University – but less interest in how these children do so much worse at school, from primary years onwards. Employers have learnt that bright children don’t necessarily have the best GCSEs.
The ministerial focus of education as an economic tool risks missing the larger point. David Cameron’s Government is doing much to make the system work better. The most pernicious equation in public life, between wealth and GCSE results, cannot be found in the new breed of Academy schools. The Harris Academy group, which runs 13 schools in deprived inner-city boroughs, announced yesterday that it is sending pupils to Bristol University for maths, Warwick University for law and Imperial College for medicine. These sixth-formers would have enrolled at the school when it was a fledgling New Labour project; now there are hundreds of Academy schools. It is perhaps the most rapidly vindicated social experiment of modern times.
Even for undergraduates, things may be on the turn. Tuition at Britain’s best universities has always ranked among the best in the world; it is the lower-ranking colleges that have tended to short-change students. Mr Willetts’s decision to remove the cap on places for students with AAB at A-level should soon have universities competing for pupils with such grades. Next year, this will hold true for pupils with ABB results. Having introduced the bad side of a market system (fees), the proper side (competition for custom) will finally get under way.
By next year, all universities will be forced to release information on graduate employment rates for each course. This will help students work out if they are being conned. If all goes well, the number of good courses will expand, and the courses that serve neither students nor society will be exposed. And while there has been a dip in university applications, it has come from wealthier students. The offer of bursaries for students from the lowest-income families seems to be having the desired effect.”
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