Higher education is coming under fire these days and I’m one of its many skeptics. I’ve written here about apprenticeships versus higher education and will continue to explore alternatives to an expensive college degree that leaves many graduates ill-prepared for the work world and underemployed. So, I was intrigued when I received this in my email box. I’m a fan of Casey Research and I highly recommend signing up for their newsletter.

Their article “B-Schools and C-Students” identifies the flaws in many/most business school curriculums. Let’s be honest. Most successful business owners did not graduate from a business school, many didn’t graduate college or go at all, and a significant number didn’t graduate from high school! And if they did graduate from college, the odds are it was with a degree that didn’t serve them at all in their chosen field. With tuition costs increasing well over the rate of inflation and young people or their families burdened with debt, it makes sense to question the status quo on going to college.

Vedran Vuk, editor of Casey Research, points out that a lack of entrepreneurial training, a focus on working for large corporations, mediocre students who lack drive and creativity and who are clearly in the wrong educational program all contribute to the failing of business schools. I’d add to that a severe shortage of innovative compelling instructors (in all sectors of education), ridiculously short internships, and limited mentoring by real world business people. Mix it all together and you have a questionable money pit.

Vuk points out that some college degrees DO prepare you for your chosen line of work, particularly in medicine and engineering, but both of these have long, required “internships”. In a field as broad as business, perhaps it is better to break degrees down into micro-degrees or to revive the apprenticeship. Perhaps we simply aren’t offering enough options to our young people.

Read the article and let me know what you think. I’m also curious: Are you using YOUR college degree?


by Steven Schlagel