It is Obvious

Chris Rick has got altogether too much to say

Degrees of freedom

Posted by chrisrick13 on March 30, 2016

It is obvious: I know what I am

I have to hope my wife does not read this and I am repeating myself

When I did my degree the percentage of people doing one was in low single

I thought it quite appropriate that people like me went and sat in front of
blackboards for 3 years.  I had friends who wouldn't chisel their fingers off
when doing woodwork that went on to become apprentices.  In between there were
those just with O/A levels various college qualifications of one stripe or
another (HND, OND).

My dad employed quite a few people in his workshop.  He trained apprentices, he
employed technicians to do complex things and he had a couple of engineers who
designed stuff.  He knew where to go to get the skills he needed.

Now it is different.  About 50% of the population have or are getting degrees.
 At that level people with IQs at around 100 must be getting degrees.  They
cannot be differentiated from a Stephen Hawking who just got a degree (to start

What is worse is that employers are using degree or not as a filter.  You have
to be in the club to stand a chance of getting a job.  That club is going to
cost easily £50,000 to join.

Someone with an apprenticeship is not a lesser person than someone with a
degree.  They are just different and it is useful to know that difference

What is the result?  A way round the problem has been adopted by companies as
indicated by this cut from a job advert:

(minimum 2.1 degree from a top 50 UK university)

Why bother moving the goal-posts?

It is obvious: I know what I am but it is not obvious to others now

3 Responses to “Degrees of freedom”

  1. Bill said

    I agree! What the country needs is more people with practical skills, craftspeople (Plumbers, electricians, carpenters etc.) people with degrees are also needed but not in the numbers we are producing. We are currently having to import these type of people from Eastern Europe. ‘Degree people’ are desk types with skills in academic areas, they are vital to the economy BUT the education system is geared to produce ONLY these type of people. Natually after spending £50k on getting the qualification then they are going to expect a job aimed at this skill.

    Just out of interest, of the people to go to Uni, what percentage don’t get a degree of some type? And of these how many fail the exam and how many just get fed up and drop out?

    • Mark said

      Could it be that we just have pre-conceived notions about graduates?

      When I lived in the USA I was surprised to find the man pumping gas at the local gas station had been to college. He was glad he had, he had interesting conversation on many subjects, but was happy pumping gas. Also he said it wasn’t that unusual – I think the graduate levels in the USA are higher than here.

      Education is simply a Good Thing. Even if you don’t end up as a company director?

      • That’s not my argument. My nephew is a whiz with a bit of wood. What he does is stunning. Furniture, wooden structures, carving. He would not have lasted 2 weeks in lectures at a uni. My son did 3 years on a computing degree before he decided that he wanted to teach people and then did a degree in sports coaching. Did wine making as you know and is now a teacher. You only get anything from education, particularly tertiary, if you enjoy it. For most people doing a degree is not the way for them to access education. It simply shows a type of person, or rather it did. Now it does not. As you can see from the blog companies are starting to provide the differentiation that used to be there. A degree from a bottom 50 university means you are in the club but are something more than a brain? That used to be an ONC/OND. It is appealing to eh aspiration of one generation projected on another: I didn’t get a degree but my daughter did. Frankly it is a con apart from all the other bad things.

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