On Thursday President Obama expressed a desire to make community college more accessible by offering tuition elimination for students who earn a 2.5 grade point average or better. While this plan may seem to be a delightful idea for those of us saddled with student loans, if we take a closer look at our own experiences, it won’t be as helpful as many would think.
What happened when we graduated college? We looked high and low for those dream jobs we were taught would save us from a life of poverty. Did we find them? Hell no. Instead we became secretaries, interns and assistants, the same jobs we could have gotten had we simply gone to clerical school. Burdened with debt we moved back in with our parents hoping for someone to notice us and offer us a big break so that we can work hard for someone’s company, become an invaluable employee, forever wishing to serve someone else’s interests and profits, which is the whole point of going to college anyway.
What is the benefit of higher education? Those who are educated with advanced degrees are qualified to work in higher paying jobs for companies. Wise women know that although the majority of the population works for wages under the 5% of the country who create the employment opportunities, My Savvy Sisters aim to become the employers in this country. While higher education does benefit us through networking with other ambitious people and offering us the information we need to progress as business owners, it is not necessary.
How will free advanced degrees affect the education system in the US? In my opinion, it will only hurt the education system as community college will become like a 2nd high school. Kids will coast on through to the next tier in education, only to find that they are repeating the lessons they learned in high school. That is what my first two years of undergraduate studies were like, a direct repeat of high school. I thought it was a waste of time.
Instead of funneling young adults into a 2nd tier high school program, a more appropriate and life-changing course of action would be to offer them a trade school education upon graduation. This way, every young adult who graduates can learn a valuable skill that they will take with them for the rest of their lives regardless of whether they decide to pursue more formal education in pursuit of white collar jobs.
The basics. Then trade school. Then formal education. These 3 steps will equip our nation’s youth for a self-sufficient adulthood much more than tacking on a couple more years of free education would.