I had a really interesting conversation with a former high school classmate of mine who had apparently spent some serious time considering his professional outlook and as a result, decided self employment was his best bet. I was impressed but startled by some of his personal revelations about the higher education system and what he believes it means to get an education these days. Needless to say, he admitted that he is one of those people who college was never meant for. And thus, he’s had to find alternative strengths that he could use against his bachelor’s and master degree holding counterparts when it came down the candidacy of employment opportunities. But it was shocking to learn he felt that general education, especially at the university level, was simply training students to be employees, not the leaders of the next generation. College does not carry the same hype as it once was. He argued, how can anyone learn to be an employer/the boss/a leader/ an innovator/an entrepreneur when they’re being taught by another type employee?
I understand where he’s coming from, which is a very frustrating place with limited means and resources. And when you’re unaware of those resources, especially as they become more and more available, it’s easy to make fast irrational decisions. It’s easy to place the blame on something or someone else — and that’s exactly what he did, although, I won’t go in detail with whom he blamed — because the truth is, education opens our eyes more than any rhetoric or propaganda will. Yes, I’d do agree that education does focus on employment possibilities. Go to school to get a good job. Most of us have heard that. It’s not the truth anymore, but that’s what we’ve heard. But when we don’t apply that education, we never arrive at knowledge, thus limiting what we know to a textbook.
To be great at whatever you do you, you have to continue to get an education. To have to continue to learn, to be trained, to pick up something, to grasp, to understand, to apply, in order to grow. Whether you’re the graphic designer, the receptionist, the bookkeeper or the CEO, if t you’re the best at it, it is because you understand the value if education to your field. Don’t believe me, find one person who is on their game, whether they work for themselves or someone else, and ask them if they find ways to continue to learn about that they do. It could something as simple as picking up a trade journal or attending a workshop. Either or, they get their learn on.