In a recent article

In a recent article (“Degrees: Who Needs Them?” AAUP Bulletin, 58 September, 1972, 261-266) Professor Blanche Blank added her voice to the growing chorus of academicians who urge us to reconsider and downplay the trend toward encouraging all of our youth to pursue a college education. The article challenges the validity of the presumably widely accepted premise that higher edu cation is indispensable to a person’s occupational, and hence economic, future; and to a modern employer’s need for a skilled labor force. The article documents the stresses experienced both by the academic institution and the involuntary student. It goes on to suggest that we can better fulfill job requirements as well as individual aspira tions for self-fulfillment by encouraging more of our youth to bypass college in favor of earlier employment; and that we should make this possible by prohibiting em ployers from discriminating against job seekers on the basis of educational attainment. Aside from yielding a happier young population both in and out of school, and a more efficient and relevantly trained labor force, the argument is made that such an alternative course would reduce class disparities. This would be the case because anyone would then be eligible for a job (while presently only the children of the affluent attend college) and be cause a college degree, if granted at all, would only in dicate a greater thirst for knowledge, not greater earning ability.

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