Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Right? Wrong.

Glenn Reynolds links to a piece harping on one of his favorite ideas as to the pointless expense of college, an idea I sympathize with:
It’s not exactly a shock at this point that college grads haven’t been able to make the most of their degrees, but when nearly half of the country’s college students are wasting money on degrees that they believe have done nothing to prepare them for their jobs, there’s obviously a problem.
Indeed, but there's some take-aways from this though.  My doctor buddy has brought up on more than one occasion that college, as originally designed, was never supposed to be a jobs training program.  My thought is "but that's what they're selling"; but to back up his point, it seems like an awkward fit.  It's as if American colleges want to be both an institution of higher education for education's sake and a career prep center, and they end up doing neither very well (lots of electives that are pointless to a chosen career path, and instructors who may, or may not, have any actual recent experience in a career field).   So why does this charade continue?

 In many cases, employers are just looking to a college degree as a quick signifier of an applicant’s determination and work ethic, not as a sign of skills learned.
A play on the 'a bachelors is the new high school diploma' reasoning.  Seems like waste though, doesn't it?  Isn't there a better way?

...job seekers and employers could be brought together based on aptitude and achievement tests rather than meaningless but expensive paper credentials 
Oh that sounds good, something that would be right to do, but it gets into an unavoidable tar pit: "DISPARATE RACIAL IMPACT".  I'm cribbing heavily from Steve Sailer here, but I'll point out that there is not a meaningful written test that exists that does not result in the dreaded DRI, and anyone who tells you that such a test can exist, is full of it.

For example, Karl Denninger bragged about the effectiveness of his written tests at his old company.  Karl is a smart guy (despite being an ass) and knew that this was an effective tool to eliminate the chaff, but he's also given to flights of fancy in imagining that he lives in an America that passed on 50 years ago.  A small company can get away with this to an extent, but any company, especially large companies, will find themselves on the wrong side of an Eric "My People" Holder lawsuit since such tests will by their very existence, eliminate more blacks than anyone else from the prospective hiring pool. 

How to handle this then?  How does a business administer a written test which they are legally unable to do?  Why they outsource it to someone who can, more specifically, a university of some sort.