Thursday, July 1, 2010

If not University, what else?

An interesting post on University Diary today about whether a degree is still worth it. The post recounts the tail of person who went back to University to get a degree, found no benefit to it in employment, and considered the four years wasted. And this was, I assume, in Ireland, where the purely financial cost incurred was low. In the US, the same exercise would have bankrupted the man, and his family.

"...sometime in 2023 she will go to University.."

Right there is a founding assumption of this blog. My little girl will go to University some day. But what if she couldn't? What if, for some reason, that door was closed. In the world we live in now, or even in 2023, what are the credible alternatives she could present to an almost certainly scowling and sceptical team of parents, aunts and uncles. Out of that 'advisory board' of 10 people, there are four (five, says one dissenter, shouted down) PhD or equivalent degrees, a bunch of Masters of one sort or another, and only one person with 'only' a primary degree (but that person has a bunch of fairly meaty professional qualifications, so we'll give him a by). What do we know about non University careers pathways? We know, and are descended from, a few farmers of the 'bog and an acre' style but that's about it, and you need a qualification to do that nowadays anyway. In a professional context, I only worked with one person without a degree. He was great, a real go to guy. He subsequently had to go back and get a degree because not having one was blocking his pathway to promotion. Good grief, you probably need a degree to run away and join the circus nowadays.

Any ideas?

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