The Collegiate Colander

(I communicated with an anonymous brother in Christ, to help for the bulk of the article).

K-12 education, whether in elementary, middle, or high school, chiefly focuses on the 3 R’s.:  reading, (w)riting, and (a)rithmetic.  Everything else is supplementary and could be done without.

Well, the same applies to college.  About half your degree is “general education” courses, which gives some broad benefits even though it is not your major.  And even the other half, the major, isn’t designed to be amazingly indelible.  It is typically expected to be a more specialized foundation for a career, but alumni tend not to remember a substantial amount of what was taught in college.  Worse, some people can’t find jobs relevant to their degree.

A strictly thorough and specialized knowledge of an academic subject is much more expected in graduate school.  For undergraduates, it is enough to know things more broadly, even in the major.  But if you want to zero on in a subject, go for a master’s and/or PhD.

But seriously, what is my issue here?  In a word, money.  Receiving grants and loans will facilitate education, but as time goes on, and you are forgetting more and more of the material you have learned as you pay back your loans.  Fortunately, your resume is building, so that can help with the loan cost, not to mention that it the resume will gradually mean more your degree.

But again, consider the K-12 level.  They are learning facts, many of which we have forgotten since then.  If they go to public school, people pay for it through tax revenue (including yourself!).  If it’s a private school, parents pay.  Problem solved.

Aside from money, there is another issue, on specialization.  Not even college can get you on target in a deep knowledge of a scholarly topic.  It basically becomes a means to an end.  Yet if you pursue a much deeper knowledge, graduate programs may be knocking on your door.

In any case, you should always discern what God what he wants you to be.  Whether it is college, trade school, or just a plain job, God can use you in His kingdom in whatever kind of work.  I am seeking a Biology degree and I feel that is my calling.   But will it win me a job?  We’ll see.  But for now, I’ll just get through Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the new year of 2020.  One step at a time.

Finally, because I believe God is totally sovereign, He may be “weeding out” course areas not useful or relevant.

Amen.

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