At the risk of sounding pretentious, cynical, or both:
I don’t shock easily.
Zombie cannibal killers? What, again?
Another new “ism” added to the “hate speech” list? So last Tuesday.
So when I made my daily visit to the blog SmallDeadAnimals.com, I figured I was staring at a typo:
[I]t costs $84k a year to go to Columbia Journalism School…
“Surely that should read ‘$8,400 a year,'” I thought.
“Or maybe that $84,000 is the entire cost of a three-year degree.
“Ha! Pretty funny that there’s a typo in an article about journalism school…”
Except there wasn’t.
That’s the correct figure.
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I thought back to my early twenties, when I was starting out as a writer.
Multiply $84,000 times three and you get just over a quarter of a million dollars.
Given the 17% interest rates of the 1980s, I could have stuck that amount in a 5-year term deposit and lived off the interest, by which time I’d have been well established in my career anyhow, thanks to diligent freelancing and whatnot.
What are kids these days thinking?
Look: if you absolutely positively need a degree — to do all those doctorin’ jobs and lawyerin’ jobs — I get it.
(Well, not the “lawyerin’ jobs” so much. We’ve had too many lawyers for a very long time.)
But as I’ve been saying long before the phrase “college bubble” was coined:
If you’re a budding entrepreneur, college is a waste of time and money, because unless you want a “straight” job, you don’t need a B.A.
And I question that “need.” It’s just lazy H.R. nonsense.
As it occurs to society at large that most bachelor’s degrees are useless, very slowly this asinine requirement will be phased out.
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My parents probably never made a quarter of a million bucks across their entire lifetimes, but if your folks have that kind of cash stashed, talk them into giving it to you as business capital instead.
Not in a lump sum, because you might just party it away. (OK, maybe that woulda been just me…)
But think of some way to get it and then do something with it besides making some commie professor rich, just so you can become a wage slave — or, God help me, a professor yourself.
Oh, wait, you probably can’t get tenure unless you’re a convicted felon anyhow.
You probably already know the names Angela Davis and Ron Karenga, so allow me to introduce you to a new one.
Paul Rose was a Canadian professor (although I think he’d prefer the adjective “Quebecois”.) But he wasn’t always…
Rose was boss of the FLQ terrorist cell that kidnapped and strangled Quebec labour minister Pierre Laporte in 1970s’ October Crisis. He spent barely 10 years in jail for that despicable crime. (…)
The Chenier Cell never even confessed who actually garroted Laporte with his own crucifix chain.
Isn’t that delightful?
Why do you want to spend time with people like this, and the rest of academia who, by the thousands, hire and support them?
Do you want to sound like this when you grow up?
Read this story then try to convince me that the entire North American educational system is a charade.
Stay as far away from it as possible.
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“But if I don’t get a degree, I can’t get a job,” you say.
That’s the idea.
No one can get a job anyhow.
What if the “high unemployment rate” is a good sign, an indication that more and more people are dropping out of the traditional job market and starting their own businesses and/or working off the books?
Why do 20th century stuff to try to make a 21st century living?
I will live to see the New York Times, about half the current Fortune 500 companies, and at least one of the big Ivy League colleges shut their doors permanently.
While we’re all waiting for that, here’s how to stay informed and motivated as I make my way through what I’ll call “the present future”:
- Half-insane Penelope Trunk of Brazen Careerist still makes more sense than most supposedly healthy individuals
- Read Roger Corman’s How I Made a Hundred Movies in Hollywood and Never Lost a Dime
- Subscribe to Seth Godin‘s daily email newsletter and Susannah Breslin‘s RSS feed
- See how you can apply the lessons at The Well-Fed Writer to your career, whatever it may be
All those people are a lot smarter and more successful than I am.