For the Benefit of the Sellers of Useless Knowledge
Actually, I’d argue that no knowledge is useless, although some is worse than useless. But Walt Gardner’s observation (which does not raise uselessness, by the way) is right on the money:
THE NEWS that employment opportunities for college graduates have dramatically shrunk in today’s recession comes as no surprise to anyone who has been following hiring trends. It merely confirms that the United States has been wildly oversold for far too long on the indispensability of a university degree as a haven against the dislocation caused by global competition.
The hard reality is that the overwhelming number of new positions in the next decade will require short-term, on-the-job training — not lengthy tertiary education, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The time frame is widely acknowledged to be between one week and three months, depending on the complexity of the tasks involved.
Higher education for all is the sort of unnecessary burden that folks who’ve never had to work (meaning actual work) like to impose. For a great many Americans, a standard four-year degree is a waste of time and a trap door into decades of debt.