Working Value of Education


“Who says you can’t put a value on education,” points a friend illustrating a chart by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The results favor the relationship that the higher the education, the lower rate of unemployment.  Yet, these numbers do not give any more comfort to those who may have a job with less education, and especially to those who are currently jobless or under-employed (educated with more schooling or not).

Yet this chart raises some important questions about the connection between education and work. So what can we learn about this issue?

First, maybe we need to start a different discussion. For example, some philosophers have questioned the ‘centrality of work’ and its dominating role in our society. Other thinkers see work as giving essential meaning to our personal lives.  Nevertheless, because many people still need to work, these kinds of discussions can come up empty if not tied to real-life solutions. 

Here is where the role of education is critical.  I would agree, it doesn’t help a jobseeker to hear that he or she must take more time, to spend more money, to get more education without any guarantee of a job waiting at the end. 

Therefore, there must be a closer link between education and the certainty of work. One of the drawbacks to selling the need of education is that it looks like an isolated pursuit, disconnected from the real world and current issues. More education requires a measure of time, patience, and money that appear unavoidable, yet conflicts with our technological, high-speed, microwave era.

Simply there’s no time. People want their degrees now, expressed as wanting to  learn what’s needed today-in-a-day. Offering alternatives may devalue the traditional process of education and undermine the efforts of those who have put in additional time and effort.

But what if education was apart of the job?  Not just continuing professional training for people with some level of experience and expertise; but rather positions for those with no experience, where jobs are created upon changing needs and connected to local schools, colleges, and universities for approved instruction and support.  

A suggestion in this different discussion would be for us to turn the old expressions such as “hands-on-training” and “learning on the job” into serious strategic approaches to pursuing work while getting an education:  Sort of working internships for adults where a person who has a job, or looks for one, is fulfilling the needs for more education, satisfying the requirements for current credentials, and hopefully securing the paths for continued employment.

Advertisements

4 responses to “Working Value of Education

  1. This is a very insightful article, thank-you for sharing it with us. Certainly, education must prepare students for work, but that is only one function it must fulfill. The goal of a good education is to help students in all facets of their life.

  2. While I appreciate the value in a liberal arts degree and the pursuit of education for the love of knowledge, these days the link between education and employment is paramount. One of the keys of adult learning is the relevancy and application of the learning to one’s real life; what better way to capitalize on this than by linking the job to the learning? There is a lot of talk lately about reviving the concept of apprenticeships: it provides employers with low-cost, much-needed labor and provides apprentices with skilled training and paid employment. While there are a great many details to be worked out, an apprenticeship-type program has potential to make an impact on the local level. It also helps to resolve the immediacy issue mentioned in the article above. Once someone is skilled and in a stable job, it will be more feasible for them to continue their climb up the educational – and economic – ladder.

  3. Simply, admirable what you have done here. It is pleasing to look you express from the heart and your clarity on this significant content can be easily looked. Remarkable post and will look forward to your future update.

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s