• Identity Politics Are Rapidly Destroying The Value Of College Degrees

    From Ubiquitous@21:1/5 to All on Mon Aug 20 04:42:02 2018
    XPost: alt.tv.pol-incorrect, alt.education.higher, alt.college.us
    XPost: alt.politics.usa

    Too often, college is merely a signal to show bare minimum competence
    to employers. Is that signal still valuable as college becomes more
    about indoctrination and delayed adulthood?

    By Liz Wolfe


    I attended the College of William and Mary from fall 2014 until winter
    2016, during the arguable height of social justice outrage. The
    infamous University of Missouri protests happened soon after I started
    school, where professor Melissa Click threatened a student journalist
    with physical violence.

    At Yale, the Christakises were protested for arguing against over-
    coddling administrators telling students what they should not wear for Halloween. The Rolling Stone story, ďA Rape on CampusĒ that was later
    found fraudulent came out during my first year of school. Itís not for
    these reasons alone that college was futile, but the leftist insanity
    that perpetually surrounded me certainly played a part.

    This spring was set to be my graduation from college. Had I not sped
    things up and graduated in two years, instead of four, I would have
    walked across the stage, taken pictures with my family, and graduated
    with $40,000 in debt. I wouldnít have been able to earn editing and
    writing experience (like bylines at The Daily Beast, Newsweek, Reason,
    and The Houston Chronicle). I recommend the same path to other young conservatives ó escape debt and leftist indoctrination, if you can.
    Choose work experience, trade school, or a fast-tracked route through
    college instead.

    College Often Isnít Worth Your Time and Money

    Elite colleges arenít designed for critical thinking or open inquiry
    anymore. According to Catherine Rampell at The Washington Post, ďA
    fifth of undergrads now say itís acceptable to use physical force to
    silence a speaker who makes Ďoffensive and hurtful statements.íĒ

    The same survey indicates that about four in every ten students
    believes the First Amendment does not allow ďhate speech.Ē Meanwhile,
    even at elite colleges like the liberal arts school Pomona, nearly 90
    percent of students say their campus climate chills speech because they
    fear saying things others might find offensive.

    Those illiberal trends are bad enough on their own, but the format of
    college also makes little sense. Its incentives are poorly aligned with
    what is valued in the workplace. Students are incentivized to be
    obedient and compliant, not to set themselves apart from the pack. Many
    college students end up slinging impressive sounding extracurriculars
    together that any hiring manager can easily see through. Mastery of a
    skill, and understanding what will be valued in the marketplace, fall
    by the wayside.

    Too often, college is merely a signal students use to show bare minimum competence to employers. But is that signal still valuable as college
    becomes more about leftist indoctrination, coddling, and delayed
    adulthood?

    As the ďcollege experienceĒ (or ďthe best four years of your lifeĒ) has
    become more mythologized, adulthood becomes increasingly delayed as
    students seek limitless fun without consequences. Colleges often
    require students to live in dorms, eat in dining halls, and engage in
    absurd icebreaker activities.

    Parents, too, must be oriented at many elite schools. All of this sends
    the message that college is more like extended, boozed up summer camp
    than the start of adulthood. Itís no wonder so many of the traditional
    markers of adulthood are also being delayed.

    Say Goodbye to Your Creativity and Drive

    All those issues aside, the modern collegeís most significant problem
    is groupthink, which reduces its signaling value in the marketplace
    (especially among conservative employers). A college degree used to be
    a way of showing employers oneís ability to critically think, debate,
    and strategize. But is that really the case anymore, or do students
    generally just fall in line with the far-leftist ideas theyíre forced
    to swallow?

    In a class on developing countries, a renowned professor told us that
    ďabortion is a human right,Ē to which I objected. Iím interested in
    having a discussion about when we define human life, whether
    decriminalizing abortion would create better outcomes, and whether
    thereís a way to prevent unintended pregnancies, but Iím not okay with
    a professor presenting a complex moral issue as decided. I learned that
    itís smarter to keep your opinions to yourself ó presumably the
    opposite of what you should be doing in college.

    A year later, a conservative friend of mine wrote a fiery article for
    The Federalist. His article was at times tone deaf, but still argued
    worthy points. I wrote a defense saying he didnít deserve death threats
    and his ideas should be debated. I was subsequently also social media- crucified.

    Say the wrong thing, as judged by far-left 19-year-olds, and the mob
    will be unleashed. When your campus feels small, and social media
    debates hold real-world social consequences, itís hard to feel as
    though you can truly voice a different opinion than the majority, lest
    they be outraged and decide all your beliefs are beyond the pale.

    Anti-Speech Indicates Anti-Thought

    Donít get me wrong: Some political opinions are beyond the pale,
    rightfully unacceptable and easily condemned. But Iím not sure 20-
    year-olds with minimal life experience and a lack of deep thinking
    about unintended consequences of policy decisions are the ones who will
    make those calls well. Too often on campus, responses to the ideas of
    our political opponents arenít proportional, measured, or nuanced.

    Soon after I graduated, students at William and Mary protested and
    shouted down Virginiaís American Civil Liberties Union executive
    director, Claire Guthrie GastaŮaga. They chanted ďACLU, you protect
    Hitler tooĒ and ďACLU, free speech for who?Ē claiming that the ACLU
    uses their defense of free speech to cover for white nationalists and
    other odious groups.

    But of course they do: this is not news to any of us who have a robust understanding of free speech. To protect all speech, one must sometimes
    defend the rights of the most heinous groups. Suppression and
    censorship are slippery slopes, and we canít trust that the governing
    authority in charge of cracking down on free speech will truly
    understand which groups are worthy of speaking. Students coming of age
    during the Trump administration should surely understand this.

    This theme persisted throughout my time at college: Students had flimsy understandings of constitutional principles that went largely
    unchallenged. It wasnít better on the part of the professors, either.
    So how do you learn in a classroom environment when your professors are
    putting so much spin in their lectures that you need to fact-check
    them?

    College Isnít All a Waste, But Lots of It Is

    College isnít all bad. Some industries, like math and science fields,
    are far more insulated from the political beliefs of students and
    professors alike. Young conservatives pursuing careers in engineering
    or applied sciences wonít encounter many of the offputting aspects of
    college, and these industries require vast amounts of training and
    schooling.

    Are thousands of dollars of debt and countless instances
    of indoctrination worth the degree?

    Of the same token, I wonít be encouraging future lawyers to skip out on undergraduate education or law school (the Lord knows we need people
    interested in defending the First Amendment and due process in this
    political landscape). But would-be applicants to elite colleges who
    wish to pursue the humanities should consider: Are thousands of dollars
    of debt and countless absurd instances of professors attempting to
    indoctrinate students worth the degree?

    Choose an apprenticeship program or, for future journalists, an
    internship at your local paper. Enroll in a four-year state school, but
    take Advanced Placement and community college classes in high school,
    so you can graduate in two years, not four. Start interning early in
    college, and see if you can return to your former workplace later in
    college. Foster relationships with potential employers and people who
    have already invested in you.

    If youíre interested in the tech industry, consider a coding boot camp.
    If youíre not fully sure which field you want to go into yet, apply to
    join Americorps, an organization dedicated to service in communities
    that need it most. Whatever you do, donít assume you have to spend four
    years accruing debt, gritting your teeth during political discussions,
    and spinning your wheels at extracurriculars that may not actually
    build the skills you need in your career.

    College Can Be a Trap. Donít Let It Get You

    The college default mindset has us trapped. We think itís the only path
    to financial stability and success, but itís becoming increasingly
    costly, and with less signaling value. Of course, not all employers
    will look kindly on the college opt-out path. But if combined with the
    right amount of grit, entrepreneurial spirit, and skill acquisition,
    employers will recognize a college opt-outís value in the job market.

    My generation isnít all bad, either. We care about justice and equality
    for all different types of people. We rethink traditional structures
    and institutions. We care about subverting and questioning power
    structures. But perhaps one of the power structures that should be
    subverted is the stronghold liberal students and professors have on the academy, and the stronghold college has as an indicator of value in the marketplace.

    Itís often not worthwhile to go to college in the traditional way
    anymore. As cost rises, signaling value drops, and leftism becomes the unfortunate default, most conservatives should skip it altogether.

    : Liz Wolfe writes on libertarianism, culture, due process, and free
    : speech from Austin, Texas. Her work has appeared in Playboy, Reason,
    : National Review, and the Washington Examiner.

    --
    Dems & the media want Trump to be more like Obama, but then he'd
    have to audit liberals & wire tap reporters' phones.

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