What is the benefit of education?

One of the blogs I currently read daily is Evaluate your students. It is a useful antidote against any desire to become a professor, whenever—or if (it seems to be a bit of a black swan event lately)—I begin to develop a “passion” for teaching undergraduates. RYS offers professors a chance to vent to their students, and it’s amazing what they have to deal with on a daily basis

. One of the frequent laments of professors is that students are not interested in the material, that they don’t show up to class, and that they pump and dump material for their exams. Now, for someone with enough tunnel vision to stay in the educational system for the 25 to 40 years of focused effort it takes to qualify for a professorship these days, it’s perhaps understandable that they didn’t realize that maybe only 10% of students (and based on my own experience I’m optimistic) Really interested in learning something.

  1. I’m telling you, when I was young, and that’s not more than two years ago, no one would ever put up with some of the behaviors reported at RYS.
  2. The truth is that the primary function of the educational system is “teaching,” not learning. Universities basically serve two main functions:

The first job is to publicize itself by finding out which students have the character and ability to become professors.

  1. The second function is to “educate” the other 99%, where by education I mean to prepare them socially for the real world.
  2. There is a third function that I will address now. Think about factors that indicate future career success. In other words, how should a company hire, if it wants to maximize productivity.
  3. Cumulative average
  4. degree
  5. Interview performance
  6. Personal Biography
  7. References

IQ test


It may be interesting to know that the weakest predictor of job performance is “job interest”. This may not apply to all jobs, but expressing “interest” in “effectively handling subscription renewal questions via phone and email” may not be critical to an individual’s performance. I apologize to those who find this triggering. both of you.

A job interview is also a bad predictor of future job performance. This might surprise some managers, but it doesn’t surprise me at all. After all, the universe is full of books, videos, etc. on how to give such a performance. Unless you’re in sales, the correlation is understandably low.

Your list of references, i.e. what you have done in the past, actually indicates what you will do in the future, to some extent. Only to some extent, for example, if the previous record was the result of a lucky coincidence, this is not indicative of that.

This is followed by references, i.e. what others think you have done. Here the link is not as strong as the bibliography. Sometimes references get the wrong impressions. Some people are also good at selling themselves, for example, work horses versus show horses. Obviously there are also different types of horse sellers.

The first indicator of job performance is….your IQ. Of course, the indication that equality, meaning you can’t pay your way out of it, is illegal. How could it be otherwise?

So staff have to use a proxy: the so-called Teach Your Own, which uses a teaching method called “standardized testing,” as if it wasn’t already obvious with multiple-choice tests that only test “what’s on the syllabus.”

I think most students realize this (I didn’t, I was one of the 10%), and therefore try to do the least amount of work to get the most rewards. This means just-in-time (JIT), a management technique invented by the Japanese. It means pumping and dumping (regurgitating) information (this indicates efficiency and adaptability). In fact, carrying inventory (information) is expensive. It also means choosing courses that have a G/W (think P/E for a stock). This means that the degree of appreciation/work effort is high (profit maximization). In short, the students have already turned into good white-collar workers. If only I were smarter…

Thus the third purpose of education is to serve as an alternative to intelligence tests. With education you can get more information. A person completing a degree shows some ability to meet deadlines etc. and generally perform as described above. It shows that they are suitably socialized for the world of white-collar work.

I’ll leave you with a hypothesis. I bet that for two countries with equal productivity (or adjusting for productivity), you would see that the country with the longer education actually has lower productivity per hour worked. Go and conclude! – Yes, this might be worth going back to college to write a paper about. Oh, slaughter me
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