I graduated from a university in Kazakhstan, and went on a project. By profession, I am a teacher and psychologist. I can work with students and high school students. But now I teach dances and lead junior groups in Russian for migrant children. Not quite what I studied for. I think almost all ESK volunteers do not work in a specialty. It is unlikely that anyone studied as a bureaucrat or a social worker for caring for the elderly. It seems to me that higher education is now really overrated, both in Europe and in third world countries. I wanted to understand this issue, because the whole project tormented me with the thought, but was it not for nothing that I graduated from the university. And here is what I found.
I consider higher education a soap bubble, and a classic bubble. We can call a certain phenomenon a bubble if its value is overestimated, and at the same time everyone believes in it. Real estate was a classic bubble, just like the dotcoms in the 1990s - both were clearly overestimated, everyone believed in them, and no one questioned this belief: you were simply obliged to have a house in 2005, You were obliged to invest in dotcom securities in 1999. And it is possible that the last bubble remaining in developed countries (it is possible that emerging markets are themselves a bubble) is higher education. The importance of higher education today is overestimated. If you try to objectively calculate its value, it becomes clear: people overpay heavily for it. At the same time, everyone very sincerely believes in him. For reasons of a psychosocial nature, people are ready to go into huge debt just to go to university, because everyone does it.
Moreover, from my point of view, for some reasons, the education bubble is even worse than the real estate bubble. Firstly, it is much more difficult to get rid of a loan taken for education than to get a mortgage. Loans for real estate, as a rule, without recourse, that is, you can simply abandon the house at any time. With loans for education, the opposite is the case, so they are much more likely to lead to bankruptcy. If you take a loan and go to a university where you have no value to study, this is a really big mistake.
The financial industry has been heavily criticized for imposing mortgages on consumers who are not familiar with them. But many of the same arguments look even stronger if they are used against the administration of universities, which, by advertising their services, also in many ways mislead people. Like real estate sellers, universities offer you to "invest in the future." But in most cases, higher education in Europe is a waste of time and money; an ordinary party that lasted four years. Likewise, buying a huge house with a large pool is not an investment, but a consumer decision. In the ratio of consumer and investment components lies that trick, which it was very difficult for a real estate buyer to understand.
I think the same can be said about the bubble of higher education, but there is an important difference between the two bubbles: in the case of real estate, the class aspect also played a role. The upper middle class of Europe preferred to invest in ordinary shares, and the rest of the middle class - in real estate. Therefore, the mortgage bubble for sophisticated elites who did not participate in it was an occasion to ridicule the middle class: “Look at the fools and beatniks from the European suburbs who agree to these crazy real estate transactions!” So, although it was really crazy, there was opposition with its critical point of view on what was happening. But education is a value that no elite casts doubt on. That is why the higher education market is distorted even more than the real estate market.
At first, when I first arrived at the project, I thought that I would go to college, and then to university. And now, that I do not need it. It will be just another waste of my time. That's all. Therefore, you will decide to enter the university after the end of your project, think whether you need it or not. My friend after the ESK project, weaned off as a social worker, did not find a job, and returned to Kazakhstan. Therefore, the conclusion: education is not a guarantee of good work.