I don’t get why articles denouncing higher education are suddenly en vogue now. Is it just that education seems to cost a lot? Well, it’s always been expensive.

Is it that the current cults of personality in business (Gates, Jobs, Zuckerberg) didn’t complete college (though they started)? Well, neither did the cults of business personality during the industrial revolution (Henry Ford, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Andrew Carnegie). Any time there is some sort of rapid technological upheaval in business, certain entrepreneurial figureheads come to the fore with little formal education.

So why is it fashionable now to denunciation of higher education?

I don’t think anyone ever thought that college was for everyone. Anyone who believed that is a misguidedly zealous as anyone who believes that college is never worth it. So again, I’m just not sure why so many words are written to try to dissuade people from seeking a college experience.

That’s the other thing that bugs me. There seems to be this mischaracterization out there that college is just lectures, books, reports, and tests. But when you attend a college, spend time on campus, participate in clubs, groups, and organizations — you do all of the things the author mentions above. And what’s more? You very often do them with a very diverse group of people who are also young, energetic, and looking to make a life for themselves. They’re there to learn, and there is very little worry about other possible motives. I’m not sure the same can be said about the world at large — especially not the business world.

Going to college is a personal choice. It’s up to the prospective student. What I hope is that prospective students don’t overestimate what a quick entree into the business world will get them and underestimate what the unique environment of a few years in college can do for their intellect and personal growth. I guess the hope is that they don’t take a few bandwagon-jumping Medium articles as their sole pieces of evidence for making the decision.

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Author of “The Wabi-Sabi Way” and “Be, Think, Do”. Subscribe to my newsletter “Woolgathering”: https://goo.gl/UhzUYL.

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