Is education becoming less valuable now?
Today, more and more people are attending third level education, and many go on to post-graduate degrees. People specialize in subjects that were not dreamed of a century ago. However, the result has not been an increase in real knowledge, but a cheapening of education. In this essay I will discuss how education has become devalued.
Education is now something that can be purchased. Like a powerful new car or an architect-designed house, a degree or a post-graduate degree has become a luxury that everyone wants. But when everybody has something, that thing becomes worthless. Gold is sought after because it is expensive and hard to find, but if everybody changed their attitude to gold, its value would drop.
In the same way, education, like the currency of a bankrupt country, is becoming devalued as more people have degrees. It takes ever-higher qualifications to get a job. Once a degree-holder was respected and listened to. Now he or she is just another job-seeker or employee.
One effect of the rush towards degrees is that knowledge becomes less important. Other factors, such as influence, are more central in getting a job or a promotion when everyone has a qualification. A further point is that people lose respect for themselves. Since everybody has a degree, even degree-holders feel that what they have is almost worthless. More seriously, the pressure to have degrees results in a drop in quality. When thousands of people study in a college, the professors cannot possibly maintain standards. Furthermore, we need to question whether advanced education is suitable for everyone. Does our entire population really need to spend years in school and college just to do fairly simple jobs?
In conclusion, there are many negative aspects to the increased emphasis on qualifications. If we want to maintain the value of education, we need to examine the emphasis we put on degrees.