Justification for Higher Education

Good Essays
Chris Harrison
Writing 39B, Assignment 1
5 February 2003
Justification For Higher Education After analyzing William A. Henry III s In Defense of Elitism and Caroline Bird s
College is a Waste of Time and Money , it is clear that Henry s argument concerning the purpose of an education is more rational than Bird s due to the fact that Henry supports his claims with credible statistics, logical insight, and uses current real world scenarios. Bird, on the contrary, bases her argument solely on manipulated statistics, overly dramatic claims, and ridiculously out-of-this-world scenarios. While there are various viewpoints and perspectives on the subject of higher education,
Henry for one, has landed the conclusion that in America
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As wasteful as it may seem, college graduates working in fields that don t even require a degree is indeed a trend today. It reminds me of a close family friend of mine who graduated from the University of California, Riverside in 2000 as a math major. Today he is working as a private investigator for an insurance company. This job not only lacks the requirement of a four year college degree, but can actually be obtained rather quickly by simply enrolling in a six-week training program. It is certainly not fair to simply categorize my friend in Henry s group of mediocrities just yet, but it is safe to say that he would have been better off not going to college in the first place. In his case, Henry s claim that college may well be a credential without being a qualification (333) is confirmed. While Henry makes his claims with regards to rationality, Bird attempts to undermine the thinking of her readers by overdramatizing her claims and then trying to support them with manipulated statistics. Her simple argument is that too many students are in college for the wrong reasons and therefore they are wasting their time and money. Unfortunately, her approach and lines of reasoning for various claims are not so simple. Bird expresses her feelings that she is overwhelmed by the prevailing sadness on American campuses (324).
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