One of my closest friends is a Ph.D. candidate at a major U.S. university. Unfortunately, she knows that chances of getting a job in the field she’s pursuing (archaeology) aren’t great. There aren’t a whole lot of jobs for those who know as much as she does about Ancient Egypt.
She’s likely to spend the next few years selling shoes as she writes a thesis that’s unlikely to result in her becoming the next Zahi Hawass. She says, “I’m learning for learning’s sake, because it’s my passion.”
I’m okay with that if she is. But how’s she going to get a good paying job? (The girl likes to spend.)
What is Education?
So many people ask this today. As employers continue to require more certifications and job-specific skills, job seekers learn there’s less “on the job” or apprenticeship training opportunity. In our parents’ time, corporate training programs employed liberal arts graduates with no life skills to speak of.
For the most part, companies don’t educate their employees. They do train them, but that sort of education is short-term and highly specific.
There’s too much competition from individuals with the specific abilities, education, credentials, and experience in tow to take a risk on someone who says he’s a quick study.
The average cost of what employers call a “bad hire” can be many times the individual’s annual salary!
Over the years, I’ve noticed that not everyone grows up at the same rate. The class clown in middle school in the 1990s – with the super-high IQ – goes on to become a janitor at a school like Matt Damon in “Good Will Hunting.” He teaches himself quantum physics but, sadly, can’t find a job as a physicist.
When I caught up with him at a class reunion, he said he’d finally decided to get a degree. Not in quantum physics, though. In multimedia techniques…
Hey, he’s got a family to support. I can’t wait to see what he creates.
Distance Education for the Real World
We talked about distance education that night. My old friend decided it was time to get skills he could use to get a regular good-paying job. Kudos to him are in order.
The decision to go back to school is often a really larger-than-life one. Family, work, time, money, and even energy levels are things to consider if going back to traditional college or university.
Because the college or university doesn’t offer the classes every student needs on a 24/7 basis. The schedule might conflict with the student’s job or needs to take care of children or parents. And the costs of returning to school, both financial and personally, can weigh heavily upon the decision.
Flexible Schedules with No Dress Code
Most people decide to keep going on the path to nowhere. That’s a shame, because they could study any time they’d like in their pajamas (or less) with the distance education program of their choice.
With careful selection and financial aid offered by many schools to those who qualify, it’s possible to get the necessary skills for a better life. That’s what it’s all about for most of us.