(Hat tip to CheezePavilion)
I'm one of those people who soapboxes that the role of the university is that of a temple of higher education, where you go to learn how to think and to look at the world more critically. To me university is not supposed to be a glorified trade school, and I seethe when I hear people shame their kids into thinking of it that way.
Nevertheless, the US (can't speak to anywhere else) seems to have developed an entitlement complex around college education... that it's a ticket to the "good life", and conversely, you won't get anywhere in life unless you go to college. The current recession has turned that on its head, but it's too soon for any kind of alternative philosophy to come into play on a national scale. So I've been wondering:
Has your college education made you more resistant to economic trouble, or more vulnerable to it?
How do you feel about your decision to go/not go to college in the first place, after this downturn?
What do you think of the worker retraining programs that are being touted? Should they be trade-school-only, since the point is to help people become employed again, or should university be included?
Do you think the recession has changed people's perception of community colleges and trade schools?
The number one mission of a school is to get you a job after graduation. I used to have ideals, but then I took a recession to the knee.
This would make an excellent topic all by itself.
It's amazing how much it seems the status of scholarship has changed even in just the past couple of years. We always heard about how the liberal arts were useless but now we seem to have turned a corner where no one has any confidence in getting somewhere in life using their "critical thinking skills" picked up in college. You seem to need a trade or a skill so you can hit the ground running the day after graduation. It makes one wonder whether there's a bubble in higher education that has nothing to do with football in the first place.