Education for Education’s Sake

I have what some would call one of the most outdated degrees available today: news journalism, formerly called print journalism. We were groomed to work for newspapers.

I’m gueNews text on typewriterssing current journalism majors get a good dousing of social media education as well, but the reality is, by the time today’s graduates with any sort of journalism degree are my age, their degree will also be outdated.

Which leads to this question: why do we go to college if everything we learn, all the knowledge we gain, becomes yesterday’s news in light of greater innovation, broader (or narrower) thinking, changes in what the workplace values?

Because education in and of itself has value.
book and background Graduation
I went to college twice. The first time I dropped out before graduating, something, quite frankly, I’ve never really regretted. I got what I wanted out of that experience, and if I had graduated, I never would have gone back and completed my education in a field for which I was far better suited.

It wasn’t easy, however, to go back, and when I dropped out, I had to explain my decision to several people in my life who knew that would be the case. Some understood, some did not. One friend was more upset than most, and when I told him I simply couldn’t pursue a degree in something I had no interest in vocationally, he asked me this: “what about education for the sake of education?”

The fact was, it wasn’t a well rounded learning experience at that college to start with, at least, not for me. Turns out that’s true at many colleges and universities. But he was right about the inherent value of education.

Today I no longer work in any field remotely related to my degree, yet having an education is an essential part of my success. You can tell the college graduates from the rest. Even those self-taught individuals, those who know lots of facts and can win any game of Trivial Pursuit, don’t have the polish that comes from the college experience. It is education; it is the process of learning, of deeper thinking, of using logic and research to reach your own conclusions that changes you.

Education for education’s sake.


Photo Credits: (typewriter) © GraphicStock; (Graduation Day) © carballo — Fotolia

11 Replies to “Education for Education’s Sake”

  1. I love to learn. I got my Bachelor’s late in life in graphic design. In considering postgraduate, I want it to be in writing or communication. Not sure how to afford it, but that’s my thinking. Of course, the Lord may have a different plan. We will see because time will reveal. Should the opportunity show itself (finances, time management, direction I’m going, etc.), I will do it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that’s wonderful. My degree in journalism taught me a lot of writing skills, so in that way it isn’t outdated at all — and never will be. I’d love to go back to school, but I don’t see that happening right now. But like you, I’ll take the opportunity should it present itself.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with you wholeheartedly. I’ve watched my children explore college. My daughter didn’t like school (learning issues), so she quit early on and found her own path. My oldest son got a degree in something he wasn’t going to work in. But he has Asperger’s and it was a huge achievement he is proud of. Now my youngest son is going to a community college; he is really enjoying the experience.
    I remember back to my college days. I might have done better career-wise if I had gone to a specialty art school, but I really benefitted from my Cal State education. It helped me develop as a person and shaped my future in many ways.
    I think our life is a journey and sometimes there are many paths that lead us to where we are going. It’s all good!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How can we know when we’re 20 what we want to do the rest of our lives? Of course some careers prefer that decision early on (e.g. physicians) and far be it from to say college is for everybody. But kudos to your son for completing his degree! A far greater achievement than for most of us. And you seem to have done pretty well with your art the way it is. Who knows? If you’d gone to a specialty art school, you may have set your sights on something harder to achieve, not because of talent but because of whatever other factors (availability of jobs, number of people competing for the jobs etc). You might have given up. Probably not, but we never really know where that other path may have taken us. (I don’t mean to sound like I’m judging you in any way; I don’t know you well enough to do that, so I feel comfortable making this general sort of statement.)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I love this reply to my comment, Belinda. You are spot on and I do feel like you know me! I agree – a specialty school might have actually discouraged me from where I ended up going.
        I see my youngest son gaining wonderful skills (He joined the speech team). Whatever he ends up doing, I know he’ll never forget these formative years and I’m filled with pleasure being a part of his life. Went to a funeral today and it put so much into perspective for me. Every part of our life is precious.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. There are lots of reasons we choose the majors we do (or did), and in the long run I’m not really sure how much it matters. Be sure to study something you’re interested in, though, if only for a class or two, or maybe minor in it — okay, just my advice, like I said, we all have our reasons for the choices we make!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Belinda, I agree with your statement,
    “You can tell the college graduates from the rest. Even those self-taught individuals”.
    Education at college level exposes you to so many new ideas and ways of processing information. If you have the opportunity to go to college, grab it with both hands and enjoy the experience.

    Liked by 1 person

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