Posted 2 years ago on Jan. 1, 2012, 5:01 a.m. EST by supery00n
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
Education is a big scam. Hiring based on what educational institutions you've attended or what degrees you have is the last form of legalized discrimination that exists in America. The only thing that should be considered for employment is whether the person is qualified to do the job competently and has the necessary knowledge or ability to acquire it. It is only because companies and organizations can discriminate among those with graduate/professional degrees, a bachelor's degree, or a high school diploma, etc. that the money-for-education scam is happening. The argument that credentials are the only really effective way to signal information to employers is flawed. There are standardized tests that can be given that are valid and reliable, and test for knowledge, and not intelligence.
Yeah, it will be harder and more time-consuming for companies to evaluate prospective employees, but that does not justify the existence of a huge education bureaucracy that does that work for them. The existence of legalized discrimination based on credentials, I believe, is ultimately responsible for the enormous student debt that people have today, since a college education is in fact almost necessary to be considered for employment.
It's a really subtle argument. I'm not saying that QUALIFICATIONS should not a basis for employment (that would be entirely nonsensical). I'm saying that if discrimination based on education CREDENTIALS was eliminated (just like gender, race, etc.), that would eliminate the incentive for people to acquire education by paying for it, necessarily, and allow them rather, to explore their interests and learn paying only an opportunity cost. If such a person who learned something outside the classroom didn't actually have the qualifications necessary to do a particular job he/she was applying for, then it would still be perfectly reasonable to not hire him/her.
It doesn't seem like discrimination because college education or advanced degrees are things that can be acquired through one's own efforts, whereas race and gender, for instance, are not under our own control. So it's hard to see how a convincing argument can be made for banning discrimination based on the former (degrees/education) when anti-discrimination laws are generally for the purpose of eliminating unfairness when it comes to things that we are not in control of (gender/race,etc.). The key distinction is that educational discrimination, while not inherently offensive or unjust, I argue is a negative influence in society simply because it leads to ineffective outcomes (people being compelled to get degrees and go into debt at a young age when they're not really sure what they want to do...which prevents risk-taking and experimentation when you're young which I think is pretty important). I'm a college student myself, and I'm not bitter about anything...it's just an observation that hopefully comes across as objective and a genuine attempt to advance the dialogue and ideas forward.