Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The great education debate

Somehow, education always seems to come up as a debate in the world of left-right, liberal-conservative, democrat-republican bickerings over real issues.

First, one person debating will qualify their statement by stating their specific level of education. The person on the other side of the fence will then demean the first person's chosen area of education. It can go round and round and sound very much like the politics that take place in both our state capitols and our nation's capitol.

It is truly sad that this is what the majority of 'debates' turn in to after one or two rounds. It is much like a second-grader yelling at another child how 'my dad can beat up YOUR dad'. It comes off as immature and accomplishes nothing other than rendering the possibility of a productive conversation utterly useless.

Education, however, is a great foundation ofr accomplishing great things. There have been very few great accomplishments carried out by the truly uneducated in the history of America.

Sure, a hundred years ago when mcuh of our country was dependent on physical labor, you could simply learn a trade in a short amount of time as an apprentice after you quit school in the eighth grade, work every day for menial wages and die by the time you were fifty from the harm inflicted by the forty years of hard labor and know that you did all you could have.

Times have changed, thankfully, and an education is more important now than ever.

Sure, people will go round and round about what type of education is better but the main point of any argument revolves around a debate of which type of COLLEGE education is more important.

This is where I come in.

As for myself, I chose to go the route of a technical degree. I was the type that never had a problem learning but just enjoyed and got more out of the experience of learning by doing and loved doing stuff in a hands-on fashion. My time in my chosen technical program paid off as I had a job lined up before I graduated with honors.

Like anyone, I put in my time climbing the career ladder. However, after nearly eight years I am far better off than some of my friends who went to expensive and time-consuming four-year colleges. I, unlike a few who come to mind, have a well-paying job in my chosen field and don't live with my parents.

In short, an education beyond high school is essential. It is the key to living the American dream in the 21st century. To think otherwise is insane.

The simple fact, though, that there are people in this world who will use a difference in education as a point to berate you with is ridiculous. Yes, a difference in education is just that, a difference. It doesn't make you an better or worse than anyone else. Take away the shroud of your job and each and every one of us would be in desperate need of charitable support. Regardless of education, much of America lives only two weeks from utter poverty, myself included.

So, to recap, education is nothing more than another talking point. A diploma is only a fancy piece of paper showing that you successfully got through college with something more than a 'D' average. Even a technical degree possessing person such as myself is more than capable of succeeding and living next to a guy that, in spite of his four-year degree, is struggling with the same day to day battles as anyone else.

No comments: