Marty Nemko is no stranger to higher education. He has a PhD, has written three books on higher education and has taught as a visiting lecturer in various colleges (including Berkeley) for years. He begins this video by pointing out that he has never been critical of ‘the system’, but feels compelled to speak out now: As time has gone by, he’s come to the conclusion that higher education is “America’s most over-rated product”.
Nemko’s argument is that while college may be necessary for anyone who chooses to go into academia, research, medicine or law, it is a waste of time and money for the rest of us. As Nemko points out, the fact that 70% of school leavers go into higher education, a degree isn’t worth as much as it was in the past. This process is often referred to as ‘educational inflation’.
Nemko suggests that kids who aren’t particularly academic should consider on-the-job training or apprenticeships, which may actually give them a competitive edge in a market now saturated with bachelor’s degrees. For those who were in the bottom 40% at high school, Nemko claims the chances of graduating are 3 to 1 against. So why do we automatically assume that getting into a huge amount of debt will be worth it in the long term?
This is a very interesting talk with some excellent nuggets of advice to think about. Please consider sharing, and let us know your opinion and personal experiences in higher education in the comments section.
Flickr / Benedetta Candice (CandyBenny)