The Lumina Foundation can extol the value of a college education (“New studies weigh college value, cost,” Associated Press, Aug. 21) until the cows come home. Most jobs do not require a college education in order to be performed well. Unless one is training in a field requiring licensing, the best education is on-the-job experience. If one reads and writes well and has basic math skills — which high school is supposed to provide — that’s enough to perform the overwhelming majority of jobs.
The need for a diploma is something cooked up by human resource personnel looking to protect themselves by hiring only those with degrees for the most menial of office jobs. No college course will teach one to sweet-talk a loan officer, dodge a creditor or fight with the phone company.
My grandfather, an eighth-grade graduate, built a successful dress company during the Depression. My grandmother, with the same education, ran a bookstore. My son, a college drop-out, is a successful software designer. I have three college degrees and have supported myself using not one particle of skill gained from any of them. Others in my family have followed the same route.
College is a high-priced racket.