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Letitia Falk

Lab Technician/Recent MSc graduate, University of British Columbia

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Why did you go to University/College?

What was/is your drive for pursuing an education? Did you go to an educational institution to A) increase your job prospects or B) to pursue a subject you enjoy?

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    Oct 17 2011: Good question. It was neither A or B for me at the start. Since I was a kid my parents explained to me that university is the final and most important step in the education process. So, as you don't question whether you should go to High School or not, I just didn't question going to university. I don't know why I didn't question it, but in a way I'm glad I didn't. The things I learned from the type of teachers and the overall environment taught me a lot more than what the books did alone.

    The problem is that I wasn't well prepared for the experience. I didn't have enough time or the developed mindset to figure out my real interests. Yes, having a BA or BS was essential for having a good job back then, but I already started my own business before graduating, so that wasn't major concern. My main concern was actually finding something I'm excited to learn about.

    To achieve a true state of one pursing a subject purely for the joy of learning it society needs to accept the fact that monitory success is only one form of success, not the only one. Only then, we will stop filtering degrees according to their employment possibilities. If a person wants to study anthropology and they genuinely learned during their university years, then they already got a good return on their educational investment. Should this person work in a related field? It would be cool if it happened that way, but why can't he or she start the best anthropology blog that was ever made or conduct their own research after finishing their shift at the security company or the coffee shop and publish a book about the findings?

    Education, a degree, and a well rounded character are not the same things; they might be interlinked but they are not the same. While I graduated long time ago, I can proudly say that I've never stopped learning and I don't have the intention to stop anytime soon either.
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      Oct 17 2011: Great points Loaay. Maybe instead of begrudging lack of job opportunities, we need to change the way we percieve education as a means to a career. The University experience certanly has more to offer than just degrees. I think that the problem is that tuition is so expensive that students need the incentive of a better wage to get them through the process. Otherwise we might as well do just as you suggested: blog about our interests, and read up about them on the internet for free instead of investing 1-8 years into them.
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        Oct 18 2011: True education can happen when one chooses to learn and not when they force themselves to learn or even try to do it with an incentive. Learning itself is "the" ultimate incentive. Tuitions are going up because we made them go up. We, society, put a lot of emphasis on which university a candidate has graduated from. So, universities started to charge more for that experience and compete. It is we, the students, parents and employers, that created this hype. If the focus during job interviews was on behavior, personality and skill matching then the name of your university becomes irrelevant.

        When customers don't like a product and they stop buying it the company starts to listen. The power of lowering tuitions is in our hands. A strong movement can change the world. I guess 'Power to the People' didn't come from nowhere.
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          Oct 18 2011: True, the responsibility to change is our own

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