There are so many generalizations about higher education, and many assume it's a monolith. Each college, each major, each term is different, and therefore create different views, like a kaleidescope. I'm always offended when people say we're "indoctrinating" students. Sorry, people, I don't possess the power of hypnosis nor can I attract their attention span for longer than 2-3 minutes at a time.

One thing that has disappointed me over the years is the perception that you "have" to get a college degree in order to get a better-paying job. It sets up the premise that if you pay this amount of money, you'll get this job in return. It fails to consider the amount of effort one must put forth in obtaining the EDUCATION rather than a degree.

The purpose of higher education is to lay a foundation of ideas upon which to build new ideas. Students arrive at college with a limited perspective on things, and college courses open students up to differing perspectives from different disciplines. A student might attend college for a degree in business, but the student will need to take general education courses to broaden the business perspective. The student also might find that a degree in business is not really what they wanted to study, but instead finds a creative field is much more satisfying.

Many of my students don't know what they want to do, and they don't have many interests outside of playing video games or making TikTok videos. When I ask them what they are passionate about, I get blank stares.

If someone has great ideas and a solid passion, I don't think a college degree is necessary. The most successful people are those who aren't necessarily billionaires, but those who have a desire to keep learning, innovating and evolving.

Written by

Former TV person, current college professor and media researcher. Ironman triathlete, meditation teacher and yoga instructor.

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