Saturday, June 25, 2011

Thoughts from a recent graduate: On education, the economy and big business

I went to an event called "Rebuilding the Dream" a couple of nights ago. The dream in reference was none other than the "American Dream". One quote from the evening resonated with me and fueled my inner turmoil:

"We are graduating our students off the side of a cliff"

The three year old recession, which some say (erroneously) is over, is still looming and looks bleak as ever for recent graduates, especially those in the arts. Students are graduating with Bachelor's, Master's and Ph.D's to find an economy that doesn't need them or want them.

We've been told our whole lives that if one just works hard, goes to a good school, then one can succeed in life and do anything one wants.

Unfortunately, this simply is not true.

The sad truth of it is that the unemployment rate has only gotten higher. The sad truth of it is that the national student loan debt has only gotten higher, creating astronomical debt which many of us will never be able to pay back, or will struggle immensely to do so. It is not out of laziness or incapability that our generation of graduates are not getting calls left and right for employment. It is simply because there are not enough jobs. Students kill time by spending more money on school, spending more money on "great" schools until something changes.

I think it is high time that we have a student loan bailout. Wall street got bailed out and is more successful than ever. When did education become BIG BUSINESS? I am a huge advocate for education and believe in the power of it, but I am starting to get down on it. We no longer live in a society that makes education a viable or even desirable option. Education is just a business like anything else. A machine to create more workers. The education system that is currently in place is not sustainable. Soon the majority of the nation will be educated, and the jobs still won't exist.

I just hope that for my sake and others that student loan and education reform comes sooner rather than later.

1 comment:

JLTan said...

Maybe it is not just the cost of education, but also the cost of doing research that needs help.