Friday, 18 February 2011

I want to do something different this time and generate a discussion. There are quite a few of you that are students and it would be interesting to see your opinion on education system as a whole.

Our current education, almost in every country in the world, lacks any teaching on the most important subject: money. That is to say, that if we live in a capitalist world, then surely the Study of Money should be a priority. Currently the curriculum is centered around jobs, and teaching every student on how to become an employee. My personal opinion is that through your university degree (outside of professional degrees) you demonstrate that you can sit still in a boring class/office, complete assignments on time, and that it's likely you have a large millstone around your neck in the form of debt, that will make sure you keep you head down.

"One day I will have my own business"
Education debt is really very interesting. Both in UK and USA this debt stays with you even if you go bankrupt. In UK, at the very least, it is written off if you can't pay it off in 25 years. The trouble with these kind of debts is that it makes it very hard to get a bank loan if you want to start a business. That is why majority of MBA students (read: students who actually study how to start/run businesses) will work for someone else.

The big pro of MBAs and similar degrees is that it allows you to make connections. It's often the connections that only matter in corporate world; in 2006 39% of all Fortune 500 companies had an MBA. However, a study done by BusinessWeek found that shareholder returns of companies led by CEOs with MBAs were significantly worse than of those led by non-MBA CEOs.

In summory, if you want to get the most out of a capitalist system and start a business, why would you go to University? So unless you are persuing a proffesional degree (medicine, law, accounting) you are a really setting up your self to work for someone else.

10 comments:

  1. I wasn't looking to start a business however I completely agree with this. I completed my A-Levels last year, looked at University and then realised you're paying all that money and getting into all that debt.. just for a piece of paper to say you can do something.

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  2. It's a shame that education is so undervalued in the business world. Well, that's not true. They have an abstract desire for people to be educated, but really don't seem to care what they're educated about.

    I've very fortunate that my tuition is covered by Indian Affairs. My boyfriend is not so lucky - he'll have $40 000 (CAD) of debt by the time he's done. But our province introduced a new program: if you finish in the time alloted, they cap your debt at $26000. So at least they're starting to take student debt seriously....

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  3. Interesting read.
    I completly agree with the university part, its like this, it dont force creativity or understanding of the mechanics.

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  4. well said. I home school my kids and they are at least 5-10 years ahead of the curve. Anytime they want they can take over my business or use college fund to start their own or buy rentals. If they choose to go to college hopefully it will be in science or research where they will make a difference. I always hear from people how great it is we homeschool but then as always "what about socializing" comes up. To be honest there is a difference in socializing and being social. My kids have friends and are better behaved and have a more realistic non brainwashed view of the world. My wife is a doctor and she is just a slave for student loans. After all the debt she makes as much as everyone else. My advice 1.homeschool 2. start a business 3. real estate. You may work twice as hard and make less to run your own business but you are the boss and quality of life is better than being a slave for the $.

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  5. I really like your take on this subject. As a student myself I really understand the point of learning about money instead of just learning a trade. However where I'm from it is also highly encouraged to take your creativity and build a company of your own. Though I do not attend a specific business study, I study communications and PR, it is very business related. So in order to understand the greater picture we also had classes that assigned us homework like starting our own businesses. This way you do get to feel whats it like to handle finances and not just work by a budget that your boss gives to you!

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  6. You sound like a college teacher. Robbie, is that you? :P


    But i couldn´t agree more. It is easier to educate people to serve the system and not to understand it.

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  7. I just want my degree to get a better job over 60k a year

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  8. You know, we can't all be just bosses. Some have to be employees (or bankrupt).
    But even from purely selfish perspective there are benefits from working for others - some sense of stability, security and less on your mind. So your proposition means mostly being bold and taking higher risk for higher revenue prospect, doesn't it?

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  9. Good post, education is very important but there is more than one way to educate yourself.

    Too many general BAs and the high debt associated with them are just a horse collar of capitalism. If you're not careful you'll be pulling someone else's wagon forever with that combination.

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  10. You make a valid point sure, but capitalist or not, this is the world we live in. It is hard, nearly impossible to effectively make profit on a business in less than 5-10 years, and if looking to be an employee, college degrees are practically a must.

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