Published On: Wed, Feb 7th, 2018

George Mason economist Bryan Caplan says college isn’t teaching things to ‘use for a job’ ‘do nothing for society’

While promoting his new book, titled “The Case against Education: Why the Education System Is a Waste of Time and Money,” Bryan Caplan, an economics instructor at George Mason University, says “our education system is a big waste of time and money.”

Speaking with The College Fix, Caplan said “the payoff of education that the student enjoys isn’t a payoff for society.”

photo/ Alexandra / München

Most of what students learn at college “isn’t what you use for a job, you just get certifications and stickers that you can use,” he said. “These certifications and stickers help the individual get a job one day, but they do nothing for society, because they aren’t actually learning anything that will make them more effective at their jobs.”

Caplan disputes the notion that higher education is necessary to put everyone on a “level playing field.”

“The main thing is, at what cost is putting everyone on a level playing field?” he said. “In the real world the cost is overwhelming.”

One problem with the educational system in this country, Caplan argues, is its insistence that most tracks in higher education must first go through an undergraduate program.

“There are countries where you go straight to medical school,” he said, “so it shouldn’t even be controversial that you could skip the intermediate degree. It’s already happening.”

The insistence on a generalized educational model prior to a more specialized one “is just cramming it down student’s throats,” he said.

“A much better system is one where you just start with apprenticeships and getting exposed to a wide variety of occupations,” he argued, “and once you have had some exposure to different things then you can decide what you are most interested in. This would all be a lot more likely to happen without government funding.”

Check out the full interview HERE

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- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at theglobaldispatch@gmail ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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