One of my last posts here was about making education more integrated with the market. But there are some who want education to be pursued for its own sake. How could this be achieved? Simple we restrict the ability of employers to request educational information. Now this might seem contradictory if you read my last post about the hazards of information asymmetry. But this is a very different case because this isn’t about bearing risks its about a selection process. The actual hands on knowledge we receive from degrees is very little, most of their earning power is from the brand, and the selection process, less than 30% of the difference in salary between Ivy schooling and non Ivy schooling can be explained by the content.
The most immediate reaction of someone would be… how will the companies decide who to select? Especially for specialist roles such as doctors? Its very simple really, the companies will just incorporate more tests into their selection processes to ensure that people really know what they are talking about. Why this is favourable? Well social mobility is one answer. Anybody can just pick up a book learn all the content, then maybe watch a couple of videos on youtube on how stuff works and then go through the application process. The concept might seem frightening and its true that its very reliant on companies being able screen candidates in a much more integrated way, however this is not far fetched at all.
Degrees in this day and age don’t guarantee jobs anyway, and vast majority of people who actually only go to University because they want to get a job, which is understandable but it is perhaps unnecessary. Seeing that most of the content they will be learning is not applicable to their careers. The end result would probably that people who don’t want to learn just for the sake of learning but for work would structure their studies at their own pace to reach only in areas that are relevant to where they would want to work, probably through private tutors.
On the University side, sure they would get less students, either most Universities will shut down or classes will merely be smaller, either way the result will be that whoever is in University will be studious and passionate about the subject leading to a much more intellectual environment that will be less about achieving grades(since they won’t help you get a job), and more about achieving knowledge.