Description

The university system is in crisis. Despite millions invested, very few students graduate and even fewer learn actual job skills. The ballooning student-loan bubble shows no sign of abating.

Ryan Hildebrand, assistant professor of Biology at Delgado Community College in New Orleans, has been sounding the alarm for years. He believes society is doing much harm to young people by insisting college is the only path to success.

Since credentials have become so diluted nowadays, universities have moved from building human capital to mass-producing signaling products. Hildebrand argues that the bubble will burst someday, and it’s going to be worse than the housing crisis.

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Meet the hosts

Brien Lundin is president and CEO of Jefferson Financial, which publishes Gold Newsletter and hosts the New Orleans Investment Conference. He has four decades of experience in investment markets.
Fergus Hodgson is the chief executive of Antigua International, a consulting firm that connects the Americas, and he is the roving editor of Gold Newsletter. Originally from New Zealand, he has been a nomad for the past eight years, and his personal blog is the Stateless Man.

discussions

  • I’m a computer science major (payed for by the GI bill, the only thing I got out of the military) and in my second year. In two years I have only taken a grand total of 3 CS (Computer Science) classes. What I have taken is a lot of Gen. Ed., learn to love the country classes like American Government, American Literature, American History, etc.. I see a lot of computer companies (both development and design) that pay no mind to degrees. They want to see portfolios, freelance work, internships, GitHub profiles, things of that sort. But I’m not getting that out of college. What I have got is a partial structure, an understanding of what I need to learn that you won’t find on the hundreds of websites out there that purport to “teach programming”. (They don’t.)  However, it’s very slow going and doing small programs to prove concepts isn’t impressive to employers. I have plans for a site that takes teaching programming seriously and goes far beyond the throwaways like Codecademy and (ick) “The New Boston”.  The problem is the cost and time. (Most of my time is currently dedicated to keeping up with calculus.) I was actually in talks with a design company for stage one development that might give me a jumping point so that I could start posting what curriculum I’ve written. No luck, in the end, they decided my budget was not good enough. =/ But I digress. Here’s what I’m getting at. Many people within the liberty movement have an interest in computers or have jobs related to them. (I’ve met many programmers and developers who subscribe to liberty.) Here’s the questions for your consideration: Did you attend a college or university? Did you get a degree or drop out? If not, do you feel like you could do better with a degree? If so, do you feel like it was a valuable use of your time and money? What would you say to someone who struggles to keep up with keeping their grades up and using what little free time they have to actually learn something? Note: This is my first post to Liberty.me, it’s not meant to be well structured, it’s just something for consideration and discussion. 🙂  

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  • Hey, so I will be co-president of my university’s libertarian group and president of the secular student alliance next year. Aside from a separation of church and state event, what might be a cool event or presentation to do that could help members of either group learn more about the other? Note: a large number of our campus’ libertarians are non-religious and a large number of our secular student group members (Secular Student Alliance) are socially left and economically all over the place.

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  • Hey all. There are likely people more informed than I on this issue but wanted to raise it and present what I do know at least for those unaware. I think my generation (Millennial, born 1980<) will be suffering under a bad education policy of both the US and Canada, a policy which pushed all able into university. I have been seeing a few reports on massive student debt being accumulated, and especially for those taking the ‘B.A’, a pretty uncertain future for paying it back. Many of those taking such degrees are also not working anywhere where such a degree actually increases their productivity. In other words, they could have skipped the time and debt and entered the work force without any loss. On the other hand, I think employers, and more so today, are using university degrees not at all for what is taught, but merely as a personality and work ethic check, ie. if you can get a degree, it says something about your work ethic, ability to arrive on time, etc. Therefore, the university degree is more and more a screening device for character, not at all a training institution. College seems to be relatively healthy and still provide direct job training, it is the academic universities in a decade or two that will suffer scrutiny for not providing what is expected of them. It used to be the case that a university degree was uncommon and guaranteed a high office or position in a company. Now it is so common and thus devalued. In the meantime, it has fueled a massive increase in university size, especially graduate programs pumping out PhDs (myself included). When will this bubble break, and what will be the economic consequences? http://www.forbes.com/sites/specialfeatures/2013/08/07/how-the-college-debt-is-crippling-students-parents-and-the-economy/ I guess a deeper question could be, what can we reasonably expect from an education? Can we, through mass education, increase the rate of new inventions or technology? Or do we depend on an eccentric few, regardless of their education or the educational level of the masses? So do you think my(our) generation has seen an over-investment in education?

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  • This will be a general discussion to share tips and tricks to survive conventional Keynesian Economics Lessons in university.

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