Your PHD / MBA Doesn’t Impress Me
Tim Denning

The article has been written in a provocative manner. That is why it seems to have evoked strong responses which mercifully have maintained civility.

Tim is not advocating that the campuses should be shut. He has certainly stated that those who want a college degree are free to go about their ways. He has only outlined the advantages of pursing an independent and self-learning way of gaining knowledge and experience. Learning trades and arts without going to college can give valuable experience. At the same time auto-didacts should supplement their self-learning experience with real life social interactions that could compensate for the lost opportunities of campus life.

Even the employers know that the degree is only a basic indicator of competence and a little knowledge about the subject. It doesn’t automatically predicate the employable credentials of the candidate. They have no time or patience to look out for outliers without academic qualifications who may otherwise be competent and skillful. The algorithms will reject anybody without a degree.

When the degree has assumed a status for itself, the naysayers have no chance of swimming against the tide unless they are adventurous and have some money to take risks.

In India, employers complain that 75 % of the engineering candidates are unemployable. May be the quality of education in India is not that good except in few excellent institutions where getting admission is difficult.

In India there is this phenomenon called academic inflation. Because of the demands of the job market, more and more people chase degrees and post graduate degrees. The employers go on raising the entry level qualifications. Even post graduates apply for the posts of municipal sweepers, bus conductors, drivers and canteen boys. What a waste of college education!

I don’t buy the stuff that education makes people better individuals . They might not use foul language in public or knife people in the street. In fact the educated harbour all kinds of ideological prejudices that their campuses injected in them. Free thinking in campuses? Going by the intolerance that the so called liberal class has installed that criminalizes different points of view, I don’t think the graduates coming out will be open- minded and tolerant.

What does the society gain from such individuals? Humankind would not where it is now but for the great scientific discoveries made by men and women, most of whom did not have college degrees.

There is no need to point out that surgeons , pilots and lawyers need to attend college. These people constitute a minority of professionals.Let us talk about the majority.

Degree holders may corner most of the jobs, but it remains to be seen how far they contribute to making the knowledge economy more inclusive and equitable. We need not only degree holders but also compassionate people who can see the big picture through life experiences.

College education is relevant no doubt. But let us not glorify it beyond what it really deserves. The boys and girls need alternative streams to pursue knowledge and skill-acquisition. Education should not be tied to campuses only. There should be provision for short term courses also and not merely four year full time courses.

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