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  1. #11
    Babylon Candle Venom's Avatar
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    I'm a few years post college, so I hear what you're saying about kids still in college and complaining about general Ed not being a good reason to change things. My argument is that we'd have a lot less of people having to "redo school", less people major in useless things and more motivation if people had to work or do internships before college.

    The current economy makes it appear difficult to absorb all those 18 year olds who'd be looking for sales, food service and other non college jobs, but I think it'd be counteracted by having less college graduates.

    Honest question: do you think the "critical thinking" you learned in general Ed was worth society putting a 100 to 200k price tag on what today is merely an admissions ticket? Think of all the other things people could spend that money on and still likely do their ENTRY LEVEL jobs just fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metamorphosis View Post
    You can't just materialize mandatory jobs out of nowhere. I realized how shitty it was WITH a college degree when I graduated. Now, I have a job that doesn't even require a degree, technically, and I am very glad I went to college, because it is more than just a sorting mechanism.

  2. #12
    ThatGirl
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    We should all go back to apprenticeships.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatGirl View Post
    We should all go back to apprenticeships.
    That would be cool but very selective. If there was an institution for that - maybe a school with one student to a teacher... teaching would be much more nourishing.

  4. #14
    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    So from what I gather in the US you are forced to take certain subjects (a class each in science, maths, humanities etc?) in order to get a degree? Now that I think of it I have heard about this on TV. We don't have to do that here, along with several other aspects of the American education system - these differences can be confusing.

    I suppose there are upsides to it but often it seems to me that America regards undergraduate degrees as an extension of high school and continues to treat students accordingly. I mean it's nice and all to encourage broader education but why continue to force students to take classes they don't want to (or perhaps aren't at all good at) when they're an adult and old enough to decide for themselves? It's fine if a particular degree requires people to take certain pertinent classes outside the subject, such as ethics for med or law students, but not a general list of requirements for all.

    It is odd to me also that colleges should promote breadth of knowledge, when, correct me if I'm wrong, American jobs tend to be quite specialised and people rarely extend themselves beyond that speciality or their job description. In other words, being a jack of all trades isn't required.
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  5. #15
    Member crayons's Avatar
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    I hated general ed. but ended up liking it since it exposed me to new things and helped strengthen the realization that one approach wasn't the lone and best approach to all questions about the world. Artistic and philosophical observations were also insightful (helped me learn some study techniques that helped me absorb and process my STEM classes info faster).

    I have a degree and this job hunt is brutal, and I'm even overqualified for some jobs. :/

  6. #16
    Starcrossed Seafarer Aquarelle's Avatar
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    I think Gen Eds are absolutely essential to the university experience. They can help you discover new passions, they help you better understand many aspects of the world around you (not just the ones you already care about), and they teach you to think critically. That said, university is not for everyone. There is nothing wrong with going to trade school, and people should not be afraid to go that route if it feels more applicable to them.
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  7. #17
    Honor Thy Inferior Such Irony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Venom View Post
    Honest question: do you think the "critical thinking" you learned in general Ed was worth society putting a 100 to 200k price tag on what today is merely an admissions ticket? Think of all the other things people could spend that money on and still likely do their ENTRY LEVEL jobs just fine.
    That's what I was thinking when writing this thread. There are some general education requirements that would be useful to lots of different majors. English composition comes to mind. Whether your writing a proposal or a news article, many jobs require good written communication. The writing requirement though, could just be added to the required courses for a particular major, with different majors focusing on different types of writing. Journalism is going to demand a different style than say, science or technical fields.

    World history or physical education on the other hand, just isn't directly relevant to most majors and jobs.
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  8. #18
    Starcrossed Seafarer Aquarelle's Avatar
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    The price tag of university is a different issue. I completely agree that higher education is way too expensive in this country, and because of that it is, sadly, not a realistic option for many people. However, um, 100-200K?? That's a private school price tag. Attending a private school is a personal choice. There are many great public universities that don't even come close to that price tag for a 4-year, undergraduate degree. I really don't have too much sympathy for those who choose to go to private school and then end up in debt.
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  9. #19
    Honor Thy Inferior Such Irony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquarelle View Post
    I think Gen Eds are absolutely essential to the university experience. They can help you discover new passions, they help you better understand many aspects of the world around you (not just the ones you already care about), and they teach you to think critically. That said, university is not for everyone. There is nothing wrong with going to trade school, and people should not be afraid to go that route if it feels more applicable to them.
    I agree about the value of Gen Eds and discovering new passions. I too like learning about many different things. I just don't think it should be forced. We already have to endure enough of that in K-12 education. I also think about the financial expense involved in taking courses of no interest or use to you. The thing is that for many fields, there is no trade school equivalent. If you want to major in the sciences, you will probably need a 4 year degree. Yet, some gen eds like world history aren't likely to be any more relevant to a scientist than say an auto mechanic- something that could be learned in a trade school.
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  10. #20
    Starcrossed Seafarer Aquarelle's Avatar
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    To me, university is not only about job preparation, but about developing as a person. And that, for me, is the reason Gen Eds DO need to be mandatory-- students who are "tracked" to go into the sciences or whatever would likely not take Gen Eds if it weren't required, and would miss out on a lot. Usually, if a student really doesn't want to do a bunch of Gen Eds, there are options available that require fewer-- BS degrees vs BA, etc. At my university, the Liberal Arts college requires 2 years of a foreign language, but the Science and Engineering college and the Business college do not. There's also the option to take Gen Eds at a community college, where they are muuuuch less expensive, and then transfer to the university when they are out of the way.

    Plus, sad to say, not everyone ends up in the career they envisioned when choosing a major in college. It's good to have some back-up skills in the event that you can't find a job in your chosen field.
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