Here is another good back-to-school subject.
Charles Murray has written another provocative book, Real Education. A few months ago he gave a summary of his argument in the Wall Street Journal.
He argues that liberal arts education is for the intellectual elite. Our society is already good at seeing that the smartest kids get channeled toward the best colleges. We are not so good at channeling the vast middle of kids to vocational education. We do not give vocational education the same status. This inflates the value of college degrees socially and economically, and forces liberal arts colleges to try to provide job training for which they are ill equipped.
I am a sociology professor at a liberal arts college. Murray specifically slams a B.A. in sociology as telling you nothing about what the degree holder knows. I agree. In a liberal arts education, where you went to school matters more than which discipline you studied most.
And if you don't need a liberal arts education, or aren't ready for one now, by all means don't go to college just for social reasons. Vocational education, if it really teaches its craft, is honorable education, just as craft works of all kinds is honorable work.