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The spirit of the spirits
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know that I posted something very similar 2 years ago, but my opinion hasn't changed after attending one for 2 years. My problem is that it is padded to hell. Hardly anything of real value is being taught and if it is, then it's done in least humanly inspiring or plainly incorrect way. Useless things are also being taugh way more than they should be. I knew that going to uni wouldn't teach me well, but few days ago I realized that my years spent there have also very little value as there are hardly any jobs for my specialization. I know that this has been said to death too, but university is just forcing you to learn very limited set of skills which are highly un-universal and are mostly useless outside of that specialization. And one day I found in wikipedia that universities aren't teaching skills or knowledge, but rather a disciplines. It's really true as I learned more about writing papers, rather than providing any value to my country or any actually practical skills. It's essentially a place, where they repeat to death exactly the same procedures and make students obedient disciples. It's not necessary to learn much, just to show that you try. And yet university education is mandatory for many jobs, you are essentially useless without any degree and most of those jobs actually don't really even need any degree and hardly any education. All of this is very stupid and is ass backwards. Despite great inventions and scientific achievements, I partly wish that universities never existed and if they did then they better focused on teaching skills and thinking. Right now I think that they might be even doing more harm to society than good. I also don't understand why there hardly any shorter training institutions for some specific highly skilled jobs. It would be cool if we had a place, where people in half year or year could learn how to do something really well, prove themselves to their teachers and then just work. As many times I have heard bullshit that certain places lack skilled workers, but reality is that they have stupidly high requirements and then they would rather lack workers than to hire somebody with more basic skills and train him if needed. The latest example of this bullshit is that my city lacks trolleybus drivers. One must have a driving license and wage is unexpectedly good. Only problem, a driver must have years of driving experience. As far as I know they haven't hired anyone to those places yet and they are waiting for people, that won't exist in years. It's frankly so dumb that there are no words to describe it. And during these times I'm pretty sure that some desperate unemployed people would want to work and they can't due to mostly these dumb driving experience requirements (company would even pay for driving license courses).

Sorry for rant.
 

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Yes, it's a necessary evil. You expected to be inspired, learn from inspired minds, but got the factory workers and conveyor belts droning on instead. Academia is a business, much like any other. Some fields are more valued than others as well. Once you get out there you'll realize that most jobs require you to have years of work experience as well. Experience you can't have without getting a job first, but you can't get a job because you don't have the experience...

Vocational training is much more about practical skills, but it has its own set of problems too. I'm not too familiar with your country, but it seems a formal academic university degree has a higher status within your society even if it is somewhat impractical. That's why most of the funding goes to universities while vocational training is dwindling.

There are specific steps to follow when you're on the academic route. They're not supposed to teach you that many practical skills, but provide you with theoretical knowledge relevant to your discipline. How deep you want to go with that really depends on you, what you get out of it depends on you as well. Bachelor's level is the introductory level. From there on you can further your academic career - get a Master's and eventually a PhD in a specialized area of expertise - so that you'd become an expert on your field mostly in academia, do some science and teach young minds such as yourself at the moment. Or you can get a non-academic job in the public or private sector. You're supposed to have the knowledge for working, but you will learn most of the practical skills on the job.

What it actually comes down to is the network of contacts you make during your studies. It is unfortunate, but it's the reality. Who you know, and who knows you can make a difference in whether you'll get a job somewhere. Make the system work for you, instead of letting it get you down. Yes, there are definitely boring subjects and uninspiring people you have to deal with, but you've already identified the importance of that piece of paper a university can give you within your community. You will be more free with it than without it. Make use of the different opportunities you can get through the university. Unfortunately, with Covid at the moment, the future of programs for studying abroad (such as Erasmus+, etc.) is uncertain. But you should definitely explore those options more because it can set you apart from the rest of the students (who are obviously trying to set themselves apart from the rest of the students as well :D).
 

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The spirit of the spirits
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, it's a necessary evil. You expected to be inspired, learn from inspired minds, but got the factory workers and conveyor belts droning on instead. Academia is a business, much like any other. Some fields are more valued than others as well. Once you get out there you'll realize that most jobs require you to have years of work experience as well. Experience you can't have without getting a job first, but you can't get a job because you don't have the experience...
I'm not exactly there to be inspired, I just sort of expected to get smarter in that field. I'm not sure if it operates like business because like 30-40% (I thoguht it was closer to 80%, but I was corrected by others) of students get to study for free, because they get good grades and due to that government funds their studies. So I dunno, that's a shitty business. And generally what I study is pretty much as barebones as it gets in terms of equipment and such things, so it seems that they are just barely managing to get by.

Vocational training is much more about practical skills, but it has its own set of problems too. I'm not too familiar with your country, but it seems a formal academic university degree has a higher status within your society even if it is somewhat impractical. That's why most of the funding goes to universities while vocational training is dwindling.
It seems like it's similar to prefessional schools, where they teach you how to work in one profession. These places have their own problems and they mostly teach physical labour things (aka the dirties and hardest jobs) and people that come here are mostly the same ones that did nothing at school and swore an teachers. Colleges are supposed to be something in between, but they pretty much works the same as university and are generally slightly less prestigious. Also they tend to have more useless courses.


There are specific steps to follow when you're on the academic route. They're not supposed to teach you that many practical skills, but provide you with theoretical knowledge relevant to your discipline. How deep you want to go with that really depends on you, what you get out of it depends on you as well. Bachelor's level is the introductory level. From there on you can further your academic career - get a Master's and eventually a PhD in a specialized area of expertise - so that you'd become an expert on your field mostly in academia, do some science and teach young minds such as yourself at the moment. Or you can get a non-academic job in the public or private sector. You're supposed to have the knowledge for working, but you will learn most of the practical skills on the job.
Well, bachelor's here is what most people have. Only some people get master's and PhDs are basically non-existent.


What it actually comes down to is the network of contacts you make during your studies. It is unfortunate, but it's the reality. Who you know, and who knows you can make a difference in whether you'll get a job somewhere. Make the system work for you, instead of letting it get you down. Yes, there are definitely boring subjects and uninspiring people you have to deal with, but you've already identified the importance of that piece of paper a university can give you within your community. You will be more free with it than without it. Make use of the different opportunities you can get through the university. Unfortunately, with Covid at the moment, the future of programs for studying abroad (such as Erasmus+, etc.) is uncertain. But you should definitely explore those options more because it can set you apart from the rest of the students (who are obviously trying to set themselves apart from the rest of the students as well :D).
It feels that I'm doing things on legendary difficulty. You say that contacts are important and I agree with it to some extent, however I'm deaf and just barely manage to get through things without making contacts. There's really not much that I can do about it as initiating conversation without hearing answer is no fun, masks don't let me lip-read (which helps but isn't enough by itself) and on top of that I would rather be left alone to do my thing than to converse with someone. During these times with masks in some cases I am forced to resort to writing down everything I want to ask from someone as my hearing is that bad. Hearing this advice is always a bit painful, because it doesn't offer any options for someone like me and it's isolating because most people aren't deaf and don't understand many nuances about it (like constant embarrassing situation in shops, when cashier or just some random strangers says something and you have no idea how to react as you didn't understand anything).

About Erasmus, I think that it still works despite corona. Anyway, my main problem with it is that I frankly don't see any point in going to any non-English speaking country as being in foreign country and not being to read their writing must suck. Also lecturers without adequate English proficiency are likely to be more common occurrence in non-English speaking countries as well as students in case of group work or such things. Incidentally, those countries tend to be the biggest corona infestations too. Another thing is that Erasmus pays for plane and for studies, but likely it doesn't pay for accommodation. At best they might give me a place at campus, but the paradox is that living in campus while being abroad is probably the worst thing to do to yourself as you live in cultural isolation, thus there's hardly any point in being abroad. Also it seems that Erasmus is good enough for somebody highly motivated in his field and I'm really not (and I don't think that there's any field in particular that I would like to study, I would prefer extended general education).
 

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Universities and colleges make me laugh. The only reason why vocational training is dwindling is because the rich and powerful people are enslaving people by increasing social class inequality by making it harder for people to get certain jobs by enforcing unnecessary occupational licensing laws, making homes more expensive to purchase, getting big families to be more expensive by making the cost of raising a child more expensive, and other things to benefit only the rich and powerful people. The rich and powerful people are trying to control people's minds through online surveillance, hate speech laws, online censorship, censorship in general, occupational licensing laws, college debt depending on the country, high taxes depending on the country and place, social class inequality, social credit systems depending on the country, and other things because the rich and powerful people don't care about people's freedom because they care about their own money and their own power. Modern society has replaced family values, intellectual freedom, online privacy, and job opportunities with overly sensitive snowflakes, anti-intellectual censorship, increasing social class inequality that makes it harder to have job opportunities, and selfish greed instead of taking care of children's well-being through family values. It's been scientifically proven that many things are getting worse on average and that the young generation of people have less practical skills before they graduate from schools than older generations before them because older generations worked harder than the younger generation of overly sensitive snowflakes and social justice warriors that have entitlement syndrome. This is what happens when a society creates people who value feelings over logic and when a society creates people who value political correctness (cancel culture) over intellectual freedom and when a society creates people who value spoiling people instead of making them work hard to make quality products to help society improve. I would say that universities and colleges teaching useless courses are just to benefit the administrators, professors, and the rich and powerful people who support those universities and colleges more than the students who were not born from rich parents who are trying to get jobs.
 

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In general, universities prep you for a career as a scientist. You're not there to learn practical skills or learn how to do anything, you're there to learn how to think and how to do research. In general, that's the whole point of uni. Of course, that's only really useful for about 5% of the population.

There are schools that teach you how to do a specific job or similar things and many companies have in-house training programs because uni doesn't actually prepare you for working in a corporate environment at all.

I think it's fair to criticize universities for all of this, but the problem is larger than that. It's more on how we as a society value the skills that university teaches. Those skills are important, but they're geared toward general knowledge-seeking. Not getting a job or learning actual skills.
I think it's important for us all to recognize that that's what uni is for and make sure we don't force people who have no interest in that to actually go there because it's not a place where most people would be happy.
 

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The spirit of the spirits
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
In general, universities prep you for a career as a scientist. You're not there to learn practical skills or learn how to do anything, you're there to learn how to think and how to do research. In general, that's the whole point of uni. Of course, that's only really useful for about 5% of the population.
I did a bit of research of what universities were in the past, when they just started. They were places, mostly for traders, to exchange knowledge and understanding of various phenomena in order to gain more control of them. So science was to get insight in truths of nature and then learn to control it for personal benefits. Things have changed a lot since then and it's obvious.

however, even if they are preparing for career of scientist I would argue that many majors became very bloated. I study in Environmental Sciences and I have been in slightly modified ecology course many times. It's always nearly the same as it was a semester ago and hardly teaches anything. I even had a practice from stuff that I'm only learning now and I essentially had to do something that I "didn't understand" first and then "get understanding" of what I did one semester later. Now I have to prove that I understand same shit from which I already wrote a long ass paper and got a really good grade. It makes no sense. Forget the job argument, upper formal education doesn't teach how to understand itself and doesn't teach understandings that it made well.

And I feel that it wasn't that way, it's just extremely retarded and infuriating system after high school. It seems that after mandatory education, government or whatever is responsible for regulation isn't doing much to make it good. It's frankly so useless, that if they just put their materials into libraries there would be hardly any reason for them to exist. Also loads of research is constantly underfunded and qualified people are underpaid/overworked, so even as knowledge generating institution it's malfunctional. And I have seen some glimpses of educators' lives. Often they are really poor, nearly all their time is work, quality of their work is subpar. Lecturers are really being grinded to death for peanuts, many students are being later grinded to death by debt (not EU students, but still). No matter how I look at it, this system isn't very good. At least in high school teachers don't have to be as educated, actually teach instead of lecturing and wasting time, generally are as poor, but there are some traditional school events that make school life somewhat more fun, can potentially be way more socially engaged with students, teach stuff that matters to mostly everyone.
 

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Yup, universities are part of the academia and research sector. They don't care about giving you employable skills. Well, some do, I guess.

I wouldn't say it's necessarily the fault of the universities themselves, though. I mean, they're run by people who work in academia, so everything they do and everything they teach you is just second nature to them. They teach you to be an academic, because that's what's normal to them.

The fault rests on government for assuming university is just 'big school' for learning more stuff to get jobs.

As far as I'm aware, Germany has the right idea for education. They have a very strong focus on the vocational sector, and someone taking their career in that direction is not seen as a failure or drop-out at all. There are three tiers in German vocational work, which are named something like 1. Junior, 2. Engineer, 3. Master. So you aren't just a tradesperson with unverifiable skills. You are a serious member of a wider community of highly skilled professionals. WE NEED MORE OF THIS.
 

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I found out the hard way that employers don't value degrees, they value skills and experience. I could have not gone to college and gotten a 5-year head start on gaining skills and experience and saved about $100,000.
 

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I found out the hard way that employers don't value degrees, they value skills and experience. I could have not gone to college and gotten a 5-year head start on gaining skills and experience and saved about $100,000.
It depends on the degree.

There's also the awfully utilitarian fact that a degree is often a prerequisite for getting into some jobs now, for no reason other than "Candidates must have a degree in this subject".

Also, I needed a degree in order to obtain my visa for working in China. Arbitrary box-ticking really. Sucks massively.
 

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The spirit of the spirits
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I found out the hard way that employers don't value degrees, they value skills and experience. I could have not gone to college and gotten a 5-year head start on gaining skills and experience and saved about $100,000.
In retrospect, you could have went abroad and got that same degree for 30k USD or so. My own studies cost 10380 Euros (12358.74 USD) for Bachelor's degree. Even with housing (dorm flat rent is 2-4 Euros per day, so about 60-120 Euros per month, so 720-1440 Euros per year, 2880-5760 Euros for 4 years) and commuting costs (public transport ticket for year with student discount and weekends is 55 Euros) I think that it would be financially worth to go from USA to Lithuania for studying and then coming back to USA for work. I don't agree that employers don't value degree's. Perhaps they don't, but they sure don't even consider hiring people without degrees in many positions. In my field, I would be absolutely unhireable without any degree. If you want to work in some sort of government position, then having a degree is likely non-negotiable as in hiring process they most likely require candidates to have at least bachelor's degree in specific field. In USA you are more likely to deal with private employer, so such employer is more flexible with requirements if you can prove them that you are worthy. However, in many countries being without a degree pretty much puts you into unhirable/near-poverty societal strata instantly. That doesn't sound like employers don't value degrees to me.
 
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I know that I posted something very similar 2 years ago, but my opinion hasn't changed after attending one for 2 years. My problem is that it is padded to hell. Hardly anything of real value is being taught and if it is, then it's done in least humanly inspiring or plainly incorrect way. Useless things are also being taugh way more than they should be. I knew that going to uni wouldn't teach me well, but few days ago I realized that my years spent there have also very little value as there are hardly any jobs for my specialization. I know that this has been said to death too, but university is just forcing you to learn very limited set of skills which are highly un-universal and are mostly useless outside of that specialization. And one day I found in wikipedia that universities aren't teaching skills or knowledge, but rather a disciplines. It's really true as I learned more about writing papers, rather than providing any value to my country or any actually practical skills. It's essentially a place, where they repeat to death exactly the same procedures and make students obedient disciples. It's not necessary to learn much, just to show that you try. And yet university education is mandatory for many jobs, you are essentially useless without any degree and most of those jobs actually don't really even need any degree and hardly any education. All of this is very stupid and is ass backwards. Despite great inventions and scientific achievements, I partly wish that universities never existed and if they did then they better focused on teaching skills and thinking. Right now I think that they might be even doing more harm to society than good. I also don't understand why there hardly any shorter training institutions for some specific highly skilled jobs. It would be cool if we had a place, where people in half year or year could learn how to do something really well, prove themselves to their teachers and then just work. As many times I have heard bullshit that certain places lack skilled workers, but reality is that they have stupidly high requirements and then they would rather lack workers than to hire somebody with more basic skills and train him if needed. The latest example of this bullshit is that my city lacks trolleybus drivers. One must have a driving license and wage is unexpectedly good. Only problem, a driver must have years of driving experience. As far as I know they haven't hired anyone to those places yet and they are waiting for people, that won't exist in years. It's frankly so dumb that there are no words to describe it. And during these times I'm pretty sure that some desperate unemployed people would want to work and they can't due to mostly these dumb driving experience requirements (company would even pay for driving license courses).

Sorry for rant.
i think that the main problem is people go to universities to learn and univertsities think people go there to get trained.

they just want to certify that you can perform a job reliably, not teach how things actually work.

this is why people make so many mistakes in their workplace, they actually dont know what theyr doing. they just know how to do it
 

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The spirit of the spirits
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Another reason:
So many courses are just too easy and anyone with functioning brain cells likely already knowns how to pass tests. This year I'm having Human ecology course and it just too easy. I feel like I already know everything and that tasks are insulting to my intelligence. Our remote lab work was to put arrows on slides. What is this? A kindergarten for adults? And if some tasks aren't so retarded, then everything is trenched in high school level of groupthink. It seems that every jock, retard or other low human shit still flies there. It's not an institution for getting information entirely without bias, it seems to be ego stroking institution for those with some amount of memory. Other than that, most students are seriously dumb and live shitty lives. Partying (not during c19, but other times), hanging out, having clapped out turd on wheels, living in awful spaces (aka dorms), dressing up like jackasses, eating shit... Basically not as bad as jail, but the lowest of human behaviour. Lecturers are hit or miss some are decent and others seem to not have evolved much past their student selves much. The best thing of being a lecturer is having some authority over your own minions (excuse me, students). Other than that, anything flies and minions are obliged to accept anything that you think they should do. And my dumbarse self wondered why rector mentioned that C19 has been a challenge for university. I was totally thinking that he only wanted to be formal there as all materials are online and lecturers suddenly became useless (just pretty much like they always were, but due to their various tricks of withholding their materials from students before test and giving them just before test, so that someone would listen to them). But no, it turns out that my misanthropic ass misjudged how social universities actually were. Now I sort of appreciate that I'm deaf and don't have to deal with all that social bullshit and can do most tasks alone by myself under excuse that I don't hear well (not really an excuse, it's how I actually am). And most of my subjects this semester are looking real easy, to the point of me being unsure of their merit and if I can actually learn anything of value from them.

And during last semester I was just being quite lazy, just like usual and my grades were kinda okay (8.4/10 average). I assumed that there was nothing remarkable about those grades, but it seems that due to lockdown most students sank. In my major, my sort of unspectacular average turned out to be 2nd. And system doesn't show actual averages (privacy bullshit, that university violates in other ways anyway), but I suspect that they were quite bad. And this semester one lecturer started to bitch about lockdown during first lecture of her subject and nobody felt opposite it seems. And yet I think that lockdown was the best thing for students that don't want to deal with lecturer bullshit and always be "under big brothers' eyes". It was the first semester, when I felt some academic freedom and felt like something smart was happening (even if against lecturer wishes). And I know that specific lecturer from before. She always had trashy materials, talked too long, didn't get to main points in hours and loved to blame students for not learning from her spawned trash heap of slides (which were ugly, lacked core information and generally were quite useless). This semester she thought that she didn't need to change anything about that, but instead to have group discussions during lectures. Oh dear. Good thing that lectures aren't mandatory to attend, because that's precisely what I do. Group work is one of the worst things in university too. Mostly you have to waste your time with bunch of bozos, that do stupid things all the time.

And now during quarantine some educators are bitching that students aren't learning as well due to lockdown. That's partly justifiable, but the main problem is that idiots started to get lower grades, because they don't bother to learn stuff. And borderline idiots, stopped doing that entirely. Good students remained unscathed mostly. Also awful teachers became very obvious and thus they sabotage whole classes with their garbage level teaching. Same applies to higher education too, trash became more obvious and real deals are doing just like they always did.

And I said a long time ago, that I wouldn't pay for university if I had to. So far not much happened to change my mind.
 

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I didn't read the thread but can relate to the title.

I used to go into computer science and engineering branch of uni, which was extremely slow and underwhelming.
It was free to go into due to my good marks from school, but still, I dropped it because it started to interfere with my job and overall was a massive waste of time.

I disagree with the linear fashion in which education material is structured and how it is split into small little chunks of digestible for everyone material. I learn much more efficiently by myself.
 

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I was strongly encouraged to attend graduate school, but after attending both a local community college (look it up if you don't know) and a university, I couldn't stomach formal academia anymore. I enjoyed learning and was able to do some neat things (I specifically made sure my program included applicable industry skills and experience), but did not appreciate the college environment on the whole.

The best experience I had was one class I took from a School within the University where students designed their own interdisciplinary undergraduate degree programs and worked collaboratively with faculty, or even taught their own classes. Although some interesting things came out of it, the School was regarded as a joke because it didn't use standard prerequisites and so students only got out of it as much as they put in. It couldn't hide the slackers and lackluster students like the other Schools could, but a bright and motivated student had access to enormous resources and freedom to do what they willed with them. I didn't have the courage back then to design my own degree because I was worried it wouldn't be taken seriously once I graduated. In hindsight, I should've taken the risk.

I still believed back then that university programs were going to be more relevant out in the real world. I also thought I'd have access to enough resources in the private sector after I left college. Instead, I sacrificed my freedom to pursue anything but a company's often myopic priorities, and that nulled the benefit of resources. I should have traveled more before I left college, too...

At one point, I did have a chance to work with a retired state department scientist who built a lab in his garage. He told me he was running out of steam and if I didn't join him, he'd sell everything and close it down. No pressure! I had too many reservations at the time and failed to jump. I missed that opportunity and now regret it. As eeo said, it is the network of contacts that will make the difference.

These days, I would not be opposed to either joining or forming a scientific society (free from the shackles of institutional excess) in the model of 18th century European breaks from universities. These internet forums are essentially the same principle as a salon, after all.
 

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The spirit of the spirits
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The best experience I had was one class I took from a School within the University where students designed their own interdisciplinary undergraduate degree programs and worked collaboratively with faculty, or even taught their own classes. Although some interesting things came out of it, the School was regarded as a joke because it didn't use standard prerequisites and so students only got out of it as much as they put in. It couldn't hide the slackers and lackluster students like the other Schools could, but a bright and motivated student had access to enormous resources and freedom to do what they willed with them. I didn't have the courage back then to design my own degree because I was worried it wouldn't be taken seriously once I graduated. In hindsight, I should've taken the risk.
At least my university works based on principles of Artes Liberales. I don't know about your situation well, but where I study you choose your major and then each semester you have mandatory major subjects and some selectable courses not from your major. So if I major in natural sciences, I must pick anything but that. And sometimes you can choose between several mandatory subjects too. It seems like this level of freedom is a nice spot between completely predefined course and build-your-own course. Not sure if your university allowed that, but it might had been just right for you. I know for sure that this is the main reason I picked my own university over others. Others only had predefined courses with pretty much nothing optional. I knew that it would be a slog and basically bad for someone who wants to be more well rounded. This part is probably the biggest advantage of university education for me, if I didn't have it I may not have ever studied what I do.

For me at least, in school slackers would be caught instantly and you couldn't slack. I was in rigid school, which had high average grade requirements (8 out of 10 from all subject average, in American system it would be equivalent of B+, I think). And I managed just that, but many others usually had around 8.7 out of 10 (equivalent of A-, I think). National grade average is more like 6. And each year around 10% high school exams are failed. And why does it matter? Final exams are basically your fate. You can get into university or college by paying or by not paying. If you pay, you more or less have a guaranteed place there (not exactly that easy, but it's how it usually works out) or you can compete for government paid places in university, which are predetermined by applicant averages and then applicants with highest exam scores fill as many places as university needs to fill up. Therefore some subjects are easier to get into and others are hard. The hardest is medicine, it requires 8.5 I think. Most other subjects only need 7 or less (usually about 5). 5 is the lowest exam passing grade. Some majors only need 3 or less, so only biggest idiots go there. And as you can imagine many students are surprisingly undereducated, many of them have awful work culture, some of them don't even do homework or projects at all (around 15% to be more exact). So that, naturally to me, seems like a prefect place for slackers to accumulate at. And university often is constructed in a way that doesn't really push those people further, but instead complies with their idiocity and tailors courses to fit them a bit. Colleges are worse as they have even lower standards. And trade schools are the worst as only lowest of the low comes there, grade corruption is rampart, student culture is the worst out of three. Also trade schools attract either the laziest, most ignorant folks or delinquent cheapskates, that don't wanna pay much for education. So trade schools while once a good idea, turned into white trash infestations in reality. So only universities sometimes have decent work culture and minimal amount of slackers and even then you can slack if you want as minimum subject passing average grade is 5, which you can usually get with minimal effort. And at least where I study if you are bright and talented, the resources you have aren't great. Libraries are small and full of dull books, that poorly or dryly explain things. Lecturers are hit or miss, some a brilliant and some are very so-so. Hell, some can't even write in native language properly and their materials end up being somewhat embarrassing. Perhaps if you are active and social, you can try to get more attention from lecturers to explain things better, but usually they are quite busy, so besides lectures, seminars and lab work, you are left to work individually. For me that doesn't sound like having enormous resources. However, if you are quite persistent student, you can often get really good grades (like 9), but at least to me it's apparent that getting perfect grades depends way too much on your luck and professor. In 99% of cases you don't need any extra resources (that is if you understand what they are trying to say in them, surprisingly often they aren't great at communication or at teaching others what they know themselves) to pass exams as questions are from professor slides. The main element of actual teaching is pretty much nonexistant in university. There's clear and obvious lack of assurance that students learn something in their subject, almost none of them care if you pass or fail. For institution which relies on discipline, that isn't very good. If you don't enforce and endorse discipline eventually only persistent students get ahead (and even then they perform somewhat worse than they possibly could). And after the end of semester, often you don't see certain professor faces ever again or you are stuck with certain crappy professors (and obvious you can't do much about that) for some other semesters.

And from all this I can conclude that the main problem with higher education is the lack of mutual interest in achieving things. Often you get professors that hardly care if you pass or not and students that try to just get by. In better realistic scenario professors cares a bit about students passing and students are persistent to learn. And one scenario never happens professor and student caring about passing, so they work mutually and enforce each other. At least for me high school had much stronger mutual interest in trying to achieve things, in university it's almost hardcoded that lecturers shouldn't care about students and by the system are encouraged to be like that. And students there are mixed bag too. They come from various levels or idiocity and various levels of brilliance.
 

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I know that I posted something very similar 2 years ago, but my opinion hasn't changed after attending one for 2 years. My problem is that it is padded to hell. Hardly anything of real value is being taught and if it is, then it's done in least humanly inspiring or plainly incorrect way. Useless things are also being taugh way more than they should be. I knew that going to uni wouldn't teach me well, but few days ago I realized that my years spent there have also very little value as there are hardly any jobs for my specialization. I know that this has been said to death too, but university is just forcing you to learn very limited set of skills which are highly un-universal and are mostly useless outside of that specialization. And one day I found in wikipedia that universities aren't teaching skills or knowledge, but rather a disciplines. It's really true as I learned more about writing papers, rather than providing any value to my country or any actually practical skills. It's essentially a place, where they repeat to death exactly the same procedures and make students obedient disciples. It's not necessary to learn much, just to show that you try. And yet university education is mandatory for many jobs, you are essentially useless without any degree and most of those jobs actually don't really even need any degree and hardly any education. All of this is very stupid and is ass backwards. Despite great inventions and scientific achievements, I partly wish that universities never existed and if they did then they better focused on teaching skills and thinking. Right now I think that they might be even doing more harm to society than good. I also don't understand why there hardly any shorter training institutions for some specific highly skilled jobs. It would be cool if we had a place, where people in half year or year could learn how to do something really well, prove themselves to their teachers and then just work. As many times I have heard bullshit that certain places lack skilled workers, but reality is that they have stupidly high requirements and then they would rather lack workers than to hire somebody with more basic skills and train him if needed. The latest example of this bullshit is that my city lacks trolleybus drivers. One must have a driving license and wage is unexpectedly good. Only problem, a driver must have years of driving experience. As far as I know they haven't hired anyone to those places yet and they are waiting for people, that won't exist in years. It's frankly so dumb that there are no words to describe it. And during these times I'm pretty sure that some desperate unemployed people would want to work and they can't due to mostly these dumb driving experience requirements (company would even pay for driving license courses).

Sorry for rant.
You might be missing the point. It isn't about the content or subject matter because, wherever you land, they will inevitably retrain you. Just having that degree tells them that you are trainable.

What really matters is: can you be methodical, disciplined, willing to do research, able to produce useful information, and can you jump through their flaming hoops of crap and come out relatively unscathed on the other side?

Your mind is being upgraded to better pick those precious few kernels of corn out of a sea of complete and utter bullshit. You are being subtly reprogrammed to endure a higher level of mental and physical stress.

I was once told by a woman who hired me for a particularly difficult job that it wasn't what my degree was in that impressed her, it was that I proved I could finish what I started that got me hired.
 

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You might be missing the point. It isn't about the content or subject matter because, wherever you land, they will inevitably retrain you. Just having that degree tells them that you are trainable.

What really matters is: can you be methodical, disciplined, willing to do research, able to produce useful information, and can you jump through their flaming hoops of crap and come out relatively unscathed on the other side?
Or do I? I always knew that and that's basically why I went and why I stay (that and occasionally there are nice subjects and certain cool things that I can learn). This whole thread is more about "isn't there other way" or "couldn't this be done better" kind of thing. After all we do it in high school too. It's really obvious who are persistent and take stuff seriously, when looking at their grade history. For me it has been pretty stable 8 with minor fluctuations. Also where I live what I call high school here is called gymnasium (4 years, but can be 2 years if started after 10 year base school which is very rare) and it's technically optional too, mandatory formal education ends in base school (10 years).

And I don't think that it's just about showing persistence. I'm a foolish believer in such institutions' obligation to teach us things and that we learn them too, not that you don't care and other don't either. If that happens, it just shows how broken particular place is. And mine kinda is. I suspect that it suffers from various expansionistic project that my university had in last decade. They are gung ho on attaining real estate (they grew almost twice during my years here), attaining students (having shit ton of shovelware events, doing as much as they can to make foreigner study here, which in all honesty mostly suck. 20% of them don't do any homework and simply are fools others are just average.) and making cash (I noticed growth in optional bullshit courses like religious ecology, old Greek language studies, gender studies, new testament studies, media studies and etc.). At the same time mild administrative chaos is normal for them, everything done as cheaply as possible is also fine (sometimes to crazy extremes), money wasted on many useless things, their support for disabled people is top tier bullshit (they advertised it quite heavily and only some barebones were actually done and in reality this university is hardly any better than others. It sure is no Gallaudet university or anything like that) and there's a clear lack of focus on academic research. I'm a thirds year student here and doing actual research instead of just following instructions just isn't a thing, which I think is bad for university. Let's just say I'm not a fan of how this university is run and unsurprisingly if not scholarship, then I would think about alternatives seriously.
 
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