Arnold Kling  

We Don't Need No

How Evil is that Sheep?... The Case for Planning...

Charles Murray says,

Young people entering the job market should have a known, trusted measure of their qualifications they can carry into job interviews. That measure should express what they know, not where they learned it or how long it took them. They need a certification, not a degree.

I don't think that alternative pieces of paper are the answer. Murray says also, "Everyone in every occupation starts as an apprentice." I agree, and I think that we ought to repeal licensing laws, such as those for allied health professionals, that force people to get college degrees in order to become apprentices.

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COMMENTS (8 to date)
aaron writes:

My hedge fund brother says that employers are increasingly looking for SAT scores.

Jonathan W writes:

I agree. Licensing only confers the spurious notion that the holder of the license is likely to be knowledgeable and skilled in that profession.

It is frightening how many times I have encountered licensed professionals who are incompetent. Meanwhile I feel perfectly competent to choose real estate agents, social workers, accountants, teachers, etc,.....

floccina writes:

I agree 100 percent.

At my company when we hire we demand a portfolio and we mostly ignore schooling. We even give little weight to job experience. This is easy when looking for computer programmers, which is all that we hire, but I think that other professions could move more in this direction. This is not to say that you do not increase the chances of hiring quality people if you look at schooling but I think that you can do better by looking at more direct applications of skills and IMO that fact that too many employers look at schooling generates huge costs in time and money to society. IMO it even hurts schooling which has come to function more as a long test than as an educator. Knowledge that could really help people is sqeezed out by accepted testable information.

Hear, hear! I completely agree. What do you think is the best way to get rid of licensing restrictions?

Ray Gardner writes:

Isn't Bryan doing a book along these lines?

The most egregious instance of the college scam, and droid like mentality that it produces:

Go look up some creative, ad type work where nearly all of the value is in the individual and their mind. And nearly every job opening you will find absolutely requires a degree.

Michelangelo is resurrected and goes looking for a job, but of course has no degree.

The typical ad firm would turn him away. "That's nice Mr. Buonarotti, yes, you draw very well, thank you for that little sketch you just made. But we really do have certain standards around here, and maybe you could apply to one of the local community colleges. They have some wonderful art programs, and you could learn a lot."

Ray Gardner writes:

Another thing I would add, this conversation is a very common one in the trenches of professional America from which I report, and I've said often that I would pay the full tuition if they would just let me test out.

I'm a walking definition of the autodidact, and I've done very well in fields that supposedly cannot be done without a degree.

As for obstacles, it's not so much money, it's time.

And then you have the ludicrous proposition of sending a 38 year old man who's been around the world, and worked in multiple industries and cultures to multicultural classes so he can learn about the world, and how to treat and think about people?

Matt Bandyk writes:

I think licensing is only going to lose its cache as the economy becomes more service-based, and the emphasis is on creativity, critical thinking, and the like, instead of specific skills. A liberal arts education will look more appealing.
I have more thoughts on my entrepreneur-focused blog here.

randy writes:

i say eliminate mandatory high schools. offer skills/trades programs/apprenticeships. stop letting the out-of-control students ruin the learning of the curious and cooperative kids.

we really don't need no education.

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