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Tag Archives: University

Marketing Genius Seth Godin wrote a post today highlighting some points answering the rather trivial but highly engaging question “What is school for?”. I’ll give my take on the points he makes in his post. First, let me tell you that within a week, I’ll change to my third University in two years. Yes, I hate higher education, at least the way it is modelled right now. I think paying astronomically high fees for little valued education in this economy to get a somewhat decent job, just doesn’t add up. Going back to Godin’s post, here is what I think. 

1. Become an informed citizen 
2. Be able to read for pleasure
4. Do well on standardized tests
5. Homogenize soceity, at least a bit
6. Pasteurize out dangerous ideas
7. Give kids something to do while parents work
8. Teach future citizens how to conform
9. Teach future citizens how to desire
10. Build social fabric
14. Help people interesting or productive
15. Defang the prolefariat
16. Establish a floor below which a typical person is unlikely to fall
18. Make sure kids learn to exercise, eat right and avoid common health problems
19. Teach future citizens to obey authority
21. Increase appreciation for art and culture
22. Teach creativity and problem solving
23. Minimize public spelling mistakes 
24. Increase emotional intelligence
25. Decrease crime by teaching civics and ethics
27. Make sure the sports teams have enough players 

I can say that these points, at least most of them, were covered, partially or in full before I began my tertiary education. But while most developed countries have free schooling till then, I attended a private school in India, and I’m sure my parents spent a shitload for those 16 years of education. 

12. Generate future scientists who will advance medicine and technology
17. Find and celebrate prodigies, geniuses and the gifted

Frankly, these are only reasons to even consider tertiary education. Unless you are really smart, which will likely mean you’ll be doing some research, tertiary education and the cost associated with it is almost useless. 

3. Be trained in the rudimentary skills necessary for employment
11. Create leaders who help us compete on a world stage
13. Learn for the sake of learning
20. Teach future employees to do the same
26. Increase understanding of a well lived life

To be frank, none of these have anything to do with a school. Most employers want experience (source: the 200 firms I sent my resume to over the summer). A prototype software will increase your chances of getting a job more than a graduate degree. I can’t possibly relate how schools and leaders are related. The world has seen some extraordinary leaders who’ve never been to school, the leaders before the modern education system was established. I don’t think anyone should learn for the sake of learning, cause if you’re doing something for 10+ years just for the sake of it and not enjoy it, then you won’t possibly live a well lived life. And I’m sure my grandfather, an uneducated farmer lived a well lived life, and he knew it. 

So if you’re spending a huge amount of money on schooling or trying to get into the highest ranked school, think again. Schools, more often than not try to chain you down. Curb your freedom and creativity. I’d suggest try and get a free ride, or the highest amount of scholarship you can. Try to take an internship while at school and start working on your own side projects. Try to stand out from the crowd and start doing what you want instead of what the University has to offer. What do you think?