Thursday, September 13, 2007

Is Graduate School Worth It?

I can't help but believe that advanced degrees have reached a critical mass. At some point, the money invested in multiple degrees could fund a business or keep parents flush for retirement.

Or, since the U.S. has an increasingly knowledge-based and specialized economy, will all sorts of degrees continue to be in demand? College money guys hope so.

The New York Times reports that advanced degrees are more in demand than ever. Are they worth it when a person can download classes from elite schools on iTunes and specialize through the ubiquitous knowledge on the internet? There was a time when the only place one could receive a lecture was at a college. Not so today.

But the market will pay:

And many students believe that these multiple degrees are highly valuable in today’s competitive job market.

Are they really, though? More research needs to be done, because the only ones I see benefiting are the colleges and loan institutions. I'm not alone in this belief. More on the relative value of an education here.

4 comments:

David said...

"an increasingly knowledge-based and specialized economy"...this is often asserted, but is it really true? Designing a clipper ship in 1840 was a pretty-knowledge-based an specialized skill; so was sailing and navigating the same ship.

Perhaps what has really changed is the assumption that knowledge is best obtained via classroom instruction, rather than by experience and apprenticeship.

Melissa Clouthier said...

David,

You're right. So many industries could be better learned by apprenticing. It has gone out of favor, unfortunately. And some professions are actively trying to stomp out the competition that operates by on-the-job learning.

For example, midwives were traditionally apprentice positions. Now, the profession has largely been consumed by nursing and controlled by medical doctors. Yet midwives have excellent outcomes, some studies show better outcomes, than their medical counterparts.

It's really all about the bottom line. In addition, students are leaving schools with less knowledge and need a degree to fill in the gaps.

Anonymous said...

But you have to have some way to keep Titles of Nobility out of the hands of the Common Rabble, and an Advanced Degree -- having to pay six-seven figures to drink and dope and screw at The Right University for enough years to get the Title -- keeps them in the hands of The Right People.

Next step is like France, where the only way to attend The Right University and get The Right Advanced Degree is if your father attended the same. Hereditary Title of Aristocracy, just have to go around the back way so the sheeple/rabble/commoners don't notice.

sandy said...

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . H e l l o . . . N i c e . . . B l o g . . . P U S H . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .