On this Sunday Discussion, on a Monday, I wanted to talk about something that several people on social media have nagged me about. As you know, I have marketed myself out there by developing a great suite of resume products. The most popular is the visual resume, which is getting close to 15,000 views now.
But, even with the visual resume, the visual resume infographics, the video resume / CV, and even posing my regular paper resume on my SlideShare, nothing has happened. So these people have taken a look at my visual resume, and they like it. But then they say I have posted nothing about education. To quiet some of the critics, I did not drop out of high school and I did graduate in 2006. But, during the times I was in public school my experience was horrid. I was bullied by many kids from Kindergarten to being a senior in high school.
The classes I was placed in were often very easy. For example, a 6th grade special education class featured learning about topics that were taught in the 4th and 5th grades. In middle school, many of the classes often featured the teachers giving free answers on tests, and I was placed in special study hall classes. And in high school, most classes often featured giving me a study guide to the test the next day. And the study guides were exactly like the tests the next day. And for the few classes where you were on your own, and you had to actually study, I often made “D’s” and “F’s”.
If you have not guessed, I am an Aspie. And we on the autism spectrum do things differently. Many of us do not do very well in school. Other than the bullying that many on the spectrum have to experience, we often struggle in class. We have a very hard time studying, we have a hard time reading and remembering what we read, and we have a hard time on tests. This is often life on the autism spectrum. So, some people on social media and in real life have asked me “why have you not furthered your education?” Let me explain.
I did have a brief experience in a community college, but it did not last long. The second day one professor decided to give out a pop quiz, and I got every answer wrong! A few days later, another professor had a test, and I flunked that. I knew I was not going to survive being in community college because I do not do very well in school. I often have a hard time studying and remember what I read, and if you can’t remember what you have to study, you are not going to survive in college, so I was soon out of that school.
I know some of you out there are not going to like what I am about to say next, but here it goes. I believe that college has mostly become a racket. I am not saying that college is nothing but a waste. For some career paths like being a doctor or a lawyer, college does a great job teaching people. But today, more and more job openings I see require some type of higher education. And if they don’t say it in the job ad, they still often pass me over. Back 20-30 years ago, there were many good paying jobs that only required a high school diploma of GED.
But today, those same jobs that required a HS diploma or GED 20 years ago require a college degree today, why is that? Is it because many of these businesses want us to suffer with thousands of dollars in student loan debt, or these businesses get a kickback from the college? Here is what I think! Today, businesses want people to go beyond the 12th year of education. They think that going to college makes a person smarter and a better well rounded person. What about those people who learns things themselves, without taking out those massive student loans?
I have taken the time myself to learn how to take better photos, take better videos, be better at writing, and be better at social media engagement, where’s my diploma so businesses can quit rejecting me? Even if a person is super qualified for a job position, many companies will reject that person only because they don’t have a college degree. I think that is wrong! People should not go in massive student loan debt just to get a job with a good paycheck, that is not the American dream, that is the American racket job!
The reason why I think colleges and universities have mostly become a racket, is because they know that more companies require a college degree, and soon companies will require even more college education just to get a job that only required a high school diploma 20 years ago. What, a 2-year degree is not enough, make it a 4-year degree, then make it an 8-year degree! You are forcing more people to get a piece of paper that is almost worthless, because there are people with a 4-year college degree who are still unemployed or are still working a fast-food job.
Back in 2008, the housing market crashed, because there were too much housing loans and debt. Today, there are over $1 trillion of student loan debt, over $1 trillion! It’s just a matter of time before the student loan bubble pops, and plunges this economy back into a deep recession. When that happens, more colleges will close down, and more businesses will keep job openings unfilled, only because they only want applicants with a worthless piece of paper.
We need to get back to having high schools teaching career tech courses, instead of forcing kids to graduate from high school, then take on backbreaking student loans only to learn about things that should have been taught in high school. Mike Rowe is good taking about this. We are sending way too many people to college to get something that might be worthless to them, and then they are still sitting on the couch unemployed and eating bon-bons.
High schools should cut out that testing and classes about Shakespeare, and instead they should be teaching kids careers that are high in demand. You can learn about all of that history, math, science, and English in the earlier grades, the last few years of high school should only be about learning about careers, not taking another AP class. While I was in high school, they had very limited career tech class offerings. Instead of learning about career fields, we mostly played Halo and other games.
Now I am not saying that all classes in 11th and 12th grades should be all about career tech. Some students are going to go to college because they have to if they want to be a doctor, engineer, lawyer, or another career path. Those students should have the AP classes and college prep classes available so they can be ready for college. But, not every student is ready for college, or should even go to college! Those students should have the career tech classes available so they can work in a good career after graduating from high school.
Instead of doing something like making sure students who will not do well in college have a good career path, many high schools are preparing these kids for college, and then these students take on massive student loan debt, only to struggle in college and dropout, but be left with massive student loan debt. Welcome to the new American dream, where you have to take on a massive student loan only to be successful, this needs to stop!
Soon, we might not have to worry about colleges, because many will cease to exist when the student loan bubble pops, and causes massive chaos in the economy. And heck, quite a few colleges are leaning away from a good education, and only cares about college athletics. Here in Alabama, the two big universities actually make a lot of their profits not from student loans, but from college football. You might actually find students on a Friday before a big football game skipping classes, or not caring about classes, only because they only care about having the football team winning on Saturday.
As for me, I guess I will keep enjoying my unemployment life while staying on food stamps because no one out there has offered me anything. In my opinion, I don’t think I need to take on thousands of dollars of student loan debt only to be more employable. I don’t think its right for anyone to become deeply in debt to land a job, that is not the America I know! In other countries, you would never see something like this where the only way to be in a successful career is to become thousands of dollars in debt, it is wrong! Maybe this will change, but I am not hopeful, the American racket job will continue.