Law Religion Culture Review

Exploring the intersections of law, religion and culture. Copyright by Richard J. Radcliffe. All rights reserved.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Higher Education.

Here's an intriguing post regarding higher education, entitled "Send Your Kids to Trucking School". For the full version, link it here.

"For years, I've thought it makes more economic sense to send your kids to trucking school when they turn 18. It takes a few weeks. Then co-sign for a Peterbilt tractor. It's all a matter of opportunity cost. The tads can start earning right away. So if college costs $50K a year, the college-bound will cost $200K in four years (and it often takes longer). Meanwhile, the truckers will be earning, say $50K a year. At the end of four years, your trucker kids will be $400K ahead. And at the end of four years, most college kids will either be (a) going into occupations with mediocre pay, like teaching; (b) going to graduate school; or (c) going into rehab.

"So, is 'liberal education' worth it from an intellectual or spiritual perspective? Given the biases and dominant schools of thought on campuses today, I'm not so sure. Of course, if your kid really wants to learn about raku, the banjo, or telemetry, by all means they should do so, and if you can, you should help them do it. But if you're motivated by economics or just a general idea that college is a 'good thing,' trucking school is an option worth considering."

By way of background, the author of this post, David G. Epstein, is an attorney that I used to work with at another law firm. Dr. Epstein knows more than a little about higher education. In addition to graduating from the UCLA Law School, I believe he holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University, and spent some of his career as a university professor. I am confident Dr. Epstein's tongue is firmly in cheek. In any event, he raises some interesting issues--for example, does one truly get what he or she pays for with the current manifestation of higher education? Should more be demanded? How can it be improved?