This blog is written weekly by Dock David Treece, a registered investment advisor with Treece Investment Advisory Corp. It is meant to share insight of investment professionals, including Dock David and his father, Dock, and brother, Ben, with the public at large. The hope is that the knowledge shared will help individuals to better navigate the investment world.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Heresy of Higher Education

In the past week Chrysler and GM have announced plans to hire roughly 1000 engineers EACH between now and the end of 2012. Amazingly, this story is not exclusive to big automakers. Even smaller companies have been looking for new talent for as long as a year.

The real question now is whether the United States is capable of filling of this new demand for engineers, or if this country’s educational system has failed us completely.

For years the growing trend in higher education has been towards soft sciences. With business now being the most popular college major, other programs attracting increasing numbers of enrollees include precursors to professional degrees like law, medicine, and teaching. The arts have also become increasingly popular.

The real irony in the recent preference of college kids to study business is in the phrase so popular among businesspeople and business students: “It’s not what you know; it’s WHO you know.” So many kids are going to college for a degree in business, though abundantly aware that their connections will play a larger role in their success or failure than their education.

In many ways it appears that the American education system has gone completely wrong. Far too many people today, particularly in western societies, are feeling the pressure to go to college and get a degree. They are further incentivized by government grants and student loans, though they still graduate with a mountain of debt that usually takes the better part of a decade to repay.

What’s more, many graduates don’t even end up working in the field they studied. Even for those who do, a college degree is often unnecessary.

The old saying goes that “the world needs ditch-diggers, too.” Perhaps a more appropriate (and modern) characterization would be that the world needs people designing new backhoes.

Whatever the wording, the underlying fact remains. Over the past several decades the American dream has sadly changed. Where once the hope was for the opportunity to roll up one’s sleeves and work for a living, the increasingly popular fantasy is that of a free lunch.

Nowadays everyone wants to order people around from behind a big comfy desk without really adding to the equation.

Ideas on where blame should lie differ, though the most reasonable theory I’ve heard is with the baby-boomer generation. It was under the baby-boomer generation that society began pushing all kids to go to college, claiming that a college degree gave you ‘keys to the kingdom;’ that the world would simply fall in your lap.

It was that thought process that transformed the American educational system. Suddenly the purpose of early education and high school shift from preparing kids to go out and make a living to preparing them for COLLEGE. An entire generation came out of high school with no real skill set to speak of, at least none that was learned in school.

At the risk of sounding ungrateful, the baby boomer generation has, for the most part, lived through the greatest periods of American prosperity, without a corresponding degree of work and effort. Their prosperity has been born on the backs of sacrifices made by the greatest generation before them, and fuelled largely by debt that will be inherited by those that come after, mine included.

The good news is that this country can change. Just because recent history has brought the United States down a wayward path doesn’t mean that we have to continue thereon. The problems with jobs and education in this country have developed largely in the past half-century. In the grand scheme of our cultural history, that’s hardly any time at all; and certainly nothing that can’t be fixed.

Admittedly, fixing the system will require this country to take some strong medicine, and there will likely be more unemployed and more without direction before all is said and done. The question now is whether we are willing to walk over coals to reach greener pastures, or if we’ll continue to play dumb and wander further down this broken trail.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Get admission or Buy A Degree Online great offer for student we are start online education program and give you in the end with your course degree.

  3. This is often creating additional academics advance their qualifications by acquiring numerous degrees in education.

  4. The blog is written in simple English with no aspiration towards literature.

  5. I would advise you to choose the public institutions over the private ones. Kenya has limited science lecturers and tutors, and therefore not all institutions have enough of them to train their students. professional proposal writers

  6. is special education's relationship to general education. History has view that this has never been an easy clear cut relationship between the two.

  7. I have some involvement with these isolation arrangements of education. Some of it is great and some of it leaves something to be desired.

  8. Thank you again for all the knowledge you distribute,Good post. I was very interested in the article, it's quite inspiring I should admit. I like visiting you site since I always come across interesting articles like this one.Great Job, I greatly appreciate that.Do Keep sharing! Regards, luyện thi tiếng anh

  9. paython has now launched its own python bootcamp to provide the young students with entertainment along with information, knowledge and education. Join us on our bootcamps to add some fun in your life.
    Get 20$ Python Programming Mini Boot Camp at only 10$ with 2 Free Python Courses [limited time discount]

    Get 2 Python course free

    Discounted Course Link:

  10. The activity prerequisites ordinarily incorporate holding a particular number of degree hours in the subject being educated.Sand Leigh Ventures Backed Startup

  11. These many initiatives illustrate that the international community now strongly believes that we need to foster - through education - the values, behavior and lifestyles required for a sustainable future. college courses

  12. . Just recall forget the three vital elements that can enable you to achieve your objective of giving a school education to your children.enjoyment

  13. A perfect educational framework ought not disengage any part of man in the preparation procedure, nor think of some as viewpoints more imperative than others.

  14. Understanding how the this website ordering process works will make sure that you are both informed and aware of what’s going on at every step of the order

  15. with an online course, you can take a shot at the course pretty much anyplace you have PC get to.essay writer

  16. First You got a great blog .I will be interested in more similar topics. i see you got really very useful topics, i will be always checking your blog thanks. Denver Essay Service

  17. Excellent and very exciting site. Love to watch. Keep Rocking. fake college diploma