Politics Magazine

Hire Education

Posted on the 23 August 2013 by Steveawiggins @stawiggins

Physicians are trained to notice symptoms before a condition becomes fatal. That’s their job and our society pays them well for it. Who wants to die? “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also,” a very wise person once said. If we had a physician to look over the health of the nation, I would tremble at the diagnosis. A colleague just reminded me of this by pointing out Un-Hired Ed, an infographic that reveals the chart the doctors don’t want the patient to see. My daughter is starting college. Long ago, however, we gave her that talk that parents give their kids—you know the one—the beware of the lure of higher education talk. As Un-Hired Ed points out, our society has been putting on weight: universities consume far more doctoral candidates than there will ever be jobs. I speak from first-hand experience with an earned doctorate from a world-class research university and a list of solid publications, in saying that the prognosis is distressing, likely fatal. I spent nearly a decade of my “best earning years” functionally unemployed because I was “overqualified” for job after job after job. How many people don’t even rate an interview to become a meter reader for the electric company? Well, with the unending awarding of doctorates, that, like the national cholesterol level, is sure to rise.

Universities have turned greedy eyes towards the profit margins of businesses since about the 1980s—those years of “me first” that have plunged us into an economic dark age. Salaries and privileges skyrocketed and so did college enrollments. I worked at a university that was seriously considering a “Marina Management” major. To cover all the additional courses that universities must offer to “educate” the vast numbers of students, they face a financial brick wall. College presidents expect to earn a certain (unrealistic) salary, and football coaches deserve even more. Stadiums don’t come cheap, you know! So they hire adjuncts; Ph.D.s who are functionally unemployable, and pay them less than the janitors. Woo-hoo! We’ve beat the system of fair compensation and it has only cost us the livelihood of those whose professors encouraged off to grad school because they were the best and brightest in the class!

“Like lambs led to the slaughter,” as the saying goes.

Can higher education be redeemed? I have to believe so. You see, back in the Dark Ages some of the theologically literate began to congeal into clumps of readers and writers that eventually became universities. They valued learning and passing that learning on so that, like the physician, society might heal itself. And it did. Bologna, Oxford, Paris, Cambridge, St Andrews, Edinburgh—lights began to shine in the darkness. Then business models assured our great institutions that more is better, and doctorates spread like an unstoppable disease. Society’s interests had moved on. Who needs higher education when there’s something really entertaining on YouTube? Prognosis: chronic obesity. Don’t you agree, doctor?

Un-Hired Ed: The Growing Adjunct Crisis

Source: Online-PhD-Programs.org

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