Saturday, January 26, 2013

Are Fancy University Degrees Always the Path to Success?

Hi all,

Here is a highly controversial article on what constitutes the most valuable kind of education. What do you think?

by 21st Century News:

University of Oregon
University of Oregon (Photo credit: jjorogen)
A recent article by Steven Schwartz in the Australian Financial Review raises a very salient point about the value and significance of obtaining a University degree.

Schwartz points out the fact that a University graduate will not necessarily make more money than a non-graduate.

Figures recently released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show the proportion of university graduates in professional and managerial positions is decreasing.

Moreover the gap between the salaries of graduates and non-graduates is narrowing and statistics reveal that the difference in pay has shrunk by 22 per cent over the decade in UK.

The theory is getting a fancy degree will secure the student a high paying job thus justifying the years spent studying and the small fortune a degree costs these days.

The theory also suggest the more graduates a country generates the more efficient and productive its workforce will be consequently resulting in the country’s financial prosperity.

However, these theories are increasingly coming into question especially with the revelation of the above-mentioned statistics and the fact that in many countries the number of unemployed graduates is growing.

In his article Schwartz states that two years after leaving university, 40 per cent of UK university graduates are still unable to find graduate-level jobs. In the US, 9.4 per cent of university graduates have no job at all. The US has world leading number of graduates at 50 per cent, yet the US has barely grown in real terms over the last ten years.

Russia also has a very high percentage of graduates; however, no one would want to model their economy considering that even if they get a job, most of them settle for a low-paying low skilled job. In contrast, countries like Switzerland and Hong Kong boomed for decades despite a low number of graduates.

Now a lot of people resort to doing higher studies such as Masters in order to stay ahead of the pack. However, self-made millionaire, one of Australia’s highest paid educator and entrepreneur Jamie McIntyre suggests a different approach.

Mr McIntyre at a young age believed that he had recognised the flawed education system in Australia and western society. According to the Mr McIntyre the education system is designed to suit the industrialisation era of the 19th century and is hopelessly out of date for the modern day 21st century.

Jamie McIntyre quit University after studying accounting for a year. As mentioned already, he went on to become a self-made millionaire. “Now I am not suggesting that others should do the same” he says. “You see it wasn’t that I didn’t believe that education was the key to success. In fact I quit University so that I could actually go and start learning”.

In his early twenties, McIntyre said to his mother: “Why isn’t there a University that would teach you how to be successful in life as opposed to expensive degrees teaching a bunch of theories that will not be applicable in an individual’s job”.

Mark Twain once said: Never let schooling get in the way of an education. McIntyre followed his advice and started to invest in a real life education taught by those who had a PhD in results and not irrelevant theories.

McIntyre recalls how he sold his car, borrowed money and travelled overseas to attend personal development and business/financial seminars besides reading books and listening to educational tapes.

“My friends said I was crazy for wasting all this money on high priced seminars - yet I thought - I just paid a fortune to attend Uni and found it boring and uninspiring. I realised that Uni is the highest priced seminars on the planet delivering very little value for money other then the hope of a job which is no longer a guarantee”.

In this day and age someone with a trade behind them can earn more than most people with a degree. “My mentor said if you think education is expensive try ignorance”.

So, I got a modern day education and after achieving success beyond my wildest dreams by applying my new found knowledge and becoming a self made millionaire in my twenties, I decided to create a 21st century education system with the goal to update and change Australia and the world’s antiquated education systems”.

McIntyre has now educated over 550,000 people in less than 15 years from over 17 countries. “My vision is to see schools adopt the education system I created so that they can make their education more effective and highly valued otherwise they risk losing relevance and will continue to fail our brightest talents”.

Perhaps it is no coincidence that some of the most remarkable leaders and visionaries dropped out of school.

For instance, Richard Branson failed at school, Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of Harvard to build Facebook and Steve Jobs rebelled against college.

Akin to the perspective of most employers even Mr McIntyre agrees that it would be a relief if schools and universities produced skilled graduates rather than burdening employers with the responsibility of training their employees.

Especially since most people learning their skills and gain experience through work and not theoretical practices imparted at school.

“It is time Australia and the world awake to the common sense fact to excel in the 21st century as individuals and entire economies; we need a modern day 21st century education. My students on average earn more, save more, invest more and are consequently fulfilled and better citizens who are increasing efficiencies and productivity in the society” said Mr McIntyre.

According to Mr McIntyre, it is essential that Australia focuses on increasing the skills, efficiencies and productivity in the country rather than have unions pushing for higher pay rises. Pay rises he states should be voluntary and not forceful so that quality employees get pay rises because they add more value.
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