The Gross National Debt

Friday, December 13, 2013

Pondering more education

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At lunch, I pitched this idea to my daughter.

Turner County has a seminary. Should I go back to college and get a PhD?

"Would you be able to do anything different than you do now?" she asked.

No. Well, no, that's not true. I could teach in college. (Later I found the seminary is not accredited by an agency which would give me the ability to become a public college professor.)

"Do you want to teach in college?" she asked.

Dunno. I could teach at ABAC if I wanted to. I'd definitely teach journalism down there.

"Yeah, I think you should do it," she said.

So. I continue to think about it.

From an economic point of view, getting the advanced theological degree makes no sense. It'll never pay for itself, barring a college teaching job and even then, the return on investment is minimal. I'd be better off stuffing the money for tuition into an IRA (which presumes I will live long enough to retire). The tuition is dirt cheap, BTW and the college is accredited, I'm told, through the American Association for Higher Education and Accreditation. (See parenthetical note above.) I have since decided to not pursue that route.

From a strictly theological point of view, I could probably learn a few things. Probably would as well.

From a research and historical point of view, wow, what I could learn! That does crank my tractor. Learning about ancient times, what people did, how they did it and so forth. However, I've been slowly educating myself about this over time anyway and all it costs is the time and the cost of the reading material.

From the ego side - eh. I don't need to prove myself or my dissertation to a group of professors.

Besides which, I've written and researched and published enough to qualify for a couple of doctorates, even in countries which require a doctoral candidate to publish more than one book.

To say I hold the modern educational system at the collegiate level in disdain is to say water is wet. Today's colleges and universities do pretty much nothing to prepare their students for the reality of working today. These selfsame institutions of questionable learning also put such a premium on their form of education that they require advanced degrees in order to instruct the students.

The ability to actually go forth and do what is being taught is irrelevant. I graduated with a guy who went on to get a PhD in journalism and then went right into college to teach. Aside from a 9-week internship and what he'd done in college, he had no journalism experience.

In my experience, the more advanced the degree a person holds, the less able they are to exist outside academia. I just don't think I want to be that way.

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