Education must be valued in itself to be most effective, not as an interim step toward the money it will get you

Susan Engel saysend_of_the_rainbow_rev it’s a bad message when students are told they should study this subject or take that course so they can get a good job. Students get the message, she says, that what’s important is the job – not the learning. The message is that a course of study is worth relatively less in itself if it’s only a step toward a job, which is explicitly or implicitly posited as the important thing.

That’s a bad message. If the student perceives that learning has dimished value in itself then, in not valuing the learning, the student won’t learn as well. If the student doesn’t learn as well then, ultimately, she won’t be optimally prepared for the job. Then, she won’t get as much money in the end.

But wait …

Engel says the best way to prepare students for the workforce – for life – is to provide an education that is valued in itself. The subjects will sort themselves out and anyway pale in comparison with the good effects of studying something for its own sake with enthusiasm, regardless of what the subject is.

So . . . the best way to make a lot of money is to study to learn, not to get a job.

I know I want to hire people with a passion for learning way more than I want people who just took courses aimed at this or that job.

 

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