Reconsidering The Purpose For Higher Education

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It is the quest of every society to have its citizenry literate. Literacy basically means the ability to read and write. In modern society this is of necessity if one is to conduct business of any sort including relating to different people.

Modern education is made in a such a way that elementary schooling takes care of the basic needs of literacy. Subjects like Math’s, languages, and basic sciences are introduced to the student at this time. In Most nations the languages taught at this level will be the national language(s).

In high school students have a more in depth study of the subjects learnt in elementary school. At this time the student will also find areas of studies that really interest them. Some will be drawn to sciences, others to humanities and in today’s world others will find their interest lies in information technology.

Traditionally most parents have pushed their children to do aspire to go to college because of the belief that will ensure a comfortable life later in life. Some parents will push their children to study courses like Law, medicine and engineering based on the belief that by so doing they will be guaranteed a good paying job and certain status in society.

Sometimes the child’s interest are not taken into consideration because the parents have this concept that what they want for the child is what the child wants. The recent economic downsize is however caling on people to reconsider their reason for higher education.

It is a fact that it is the most educated people who have been affected most by this economy. They are the ones finding it hard to get employment because most employers say they cannot afford them. Those who remain employed are heavily under employed and under paid.

This writer knows of someone who is highly educated with a post graduate degree and with work experience in various fields. This person has not been able to get a job for almost two years because they are told they are overqualified for the position and therefore a flight risk.

Others want the person to volunteer their services for free; yeah, they are willing to accept their services for free but employment is another issue. The only alternative left for this person would be to start their own business but that too needs capital to start.

The jobs that are being created are jobs that do not need much education. The current job market seems to favor those with basic education and they are the ones who are being hired. This is contradictory to the reason we tell children to get a good education. We push children to get a good education to ensure they get a good life and respect in society.

Higher education is expensive and most people are only able to get it through student loans. Students will take the loans seeing them as an investment into their future. The current economy obviously defeats that purpose since although they have loans that they have to service, many have still not reaped the benefit of that education.

Granted, a good education is important because it extends the mind to new things. A good education normally will open up new opportunities for people outside their comfort zone. However looking at how things are, is it fair to push children to get higher education on the basis of securing a nice job?

Perhaps it is time to redefine the reasons for getting a good education. Higher education will make one knowledgable and can give choices. It should however never be seen as a guarantee to employment or a “good life”. All it gurantees is a title or letters behind a name.


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