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Liberal Education: A Study In Thought

2157 words - 9 pages

Some have recently argued that a liberal education, as opposed to a vocational education, is a waste of time, money and effort because so much of these are spent on the pursuit of knowledge not at all relevant to the chosen major. As Bob Newman of Paradigm Media states, "We all know that career colleges and trade schools get a bad rep in the education industry. For many, they’re viewed as the “other option” or Plan B. What surprises me about these stereotypes is that the data available shows that career/trade school grads can make way more in the long run than students with a Bachelors or even Masters degree.” The common consensus is that college is a mere ticket to the corporate world of high pay, early retirement jobs. If this is true, then there is no point in wasting time with courses that do not further the chosen profession. A vocational school offers a much more direct and economic avenue of knowledge. I disagree: a good college education is not primarily about career opportunities and should not merely prepare a student for one specific vocation but also help them to understand that there is more to true education than the mastering of a single discipline. Skill is but a single piece of a much larger puzzle. Furthermore, as a young adult one cannot possibly be certain what is wanted from life thus exposure to a little of everything should not only be offered but genuinely desired. In such a respect a liberal education is quite obviously preferable as it provides knowledge and experience from various perspectives. Liberal Education prepares you not only for a vocation but for life in general.

In such an assessment of collegiate preference one must first look at the query of what is it that a student wants from their education. As Michael Roth of the Huffington Post affirms, " After months of research, visits, and advice from ‘experts,’ these young men and women must now decide: Where will I be happy? Where will I make friends? Where will I get an education I can afford now, and an education that will remain valuable for years after graduation?" In choosing the appropriate school to attend a student must take these questions deeply into consideration. What is it that one hopes to gain from education itself? Some students undergo their studies for that slip of paper received upon completion, as that golden ticket to success in the corporate world. I recently read about prime example of this in which a college graduate sued her school for spent tuition claiming that the education received wasn't enough to get the work she wanted. For some college is nothing more than a requirement for a life of prosperity. Other students aspire to gain a better understanding of a beloved discipline, viewing college as the next level of a lifelong pursuit. I personally know people such as this, namely my own uncle who has spent the entirety of his life accumulating degree upon degree. For such people education is a vocation itself. No matter the origins...

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