The Corner

Is College Necessary?

ParaPundit argues (and he is by no means the first) that we spend cartloads of

money to get our kids through college because we don’t want employers

giving aptitude tests:

“Fools argue that since people who get college degrees do better then

the solution is to send more people to college. But a college

education is just a proxy for a higher level of intelligence. The

preference employers have for college graduates is a preference for

higher intelligence employees. A repeal of the foolish US Supreme

Court decision Griggs v. Duke Power would allow employers to use IQ

tests instead and reduce what is effectively a big tax on the economy

levied by educrats. This would save a lot of time and money now wasted

on education that does not provide either marketable skills or real

insights.”

As a parent facing two sets of college fees quite soon, I am

exceptionally receptive to the idea that most college education is a

waste of time and money. However, there seems to me a flaw in this

argument. The scope of Griggs v. Duke Power (which was in 1971, btw)

does not extend beyond the boundaries of the USA; yet other countries

are just as college-credential-obsessive as we are. In China, for

instance, employers could select by aptitude or IQ testing to their

hearts’ content; yet degree snobbery is even more rampant there than

here. (See, for e.g., Annie Wang’s book The People’s Republic of Desire, which I have just been reading.)

Am I missing something? Anyone got thoughts on this? Come on,

please; I really want to believe that for most students, college

education is a crock, but Griggs v. Duke just doesn’t seem to me to be

the whole story.

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