These days, university degrees provide you with all the qualifications you’ll need for a stimulating career as a barista, and it’s a miracle that anyone comes out of the public schools anything other than a mindless slave of the state, indoctrinated into the precepts of secular humanism.
The problem with the universities is obvious. They’re run by blithering Marxists. Ten years ago I myself heard my professors say things like, “Real Communism has never been tried."
Milo Yiannopoulos famously says that people come out of modern universities dumber than when they went in, and he’s probably not wrong.
The purpose of the modern public school system, as you’ll learn by reading John Dewey, is to create good obedient citizens, not to teach people how to think for themselves. Dewey’s ideal graduate of the public school system would probably be someone like David Hogg, who parrots back the opinions of would-be totalitarians with all the naïve conviction of an automaton who has no doubts about the righteousness of his cause and has no conception that anyone of intelligence or goodwill might have a different opinion.
Unless you happen to have a truly exceptional private school in your vicinity, homeschooling is the only option if you want a real education.
The number of universities that provide useful training and don’t attempt to indoctrinate students into secular humanism is vanishingly small.
One complaint I hear repeatedly is that the public schools try to force students to learn a wide range of subject matter that most of them will never use in their adult life. For example, I took calculus in high school, but I’ve never used it as a professional. I barely used it in university. Sometimes I wonder if I could have used that time I spent learning calculus to learn something that would actually help me as an adult.
Why are public schools compelled to teach anything more than the basics, especially since they’re failing even in that? They just want butts in seats, to keep the federal tax dollars rolling in. I suppose schools should try to provide a rounded education, but not everyone has to sit through advanced courses, especially if they don’t have the aptitude for it. It is a waste of their precious time, which they could be using to learn productive skills.
Whoever came up with the curriculum for the public schools must have been influenced by the hallucinatory dreams of the New Atheists, who fantasize about a coming generation of enlightened philosopher kings. The reality is that not everyone can be or wants to be educated into the deeper mysteries. Most people would be better off just learning productive skills which they can use to make money and support a family.
Many people get started in their careers and families much too late in life, and the public school system is largely to blame. Throughout most of history, people have started learning the direct skills they would need to support themselves at a much younger age.
You might object by pointing out that most people don’t live on farms anymore, that it is more common for people to go into a different profession than their parents, professions that require specialized training that mere parents cannot provide, but this is irrelevant. Even in the “old days” when apprenticeship was more common, those apprenticeships often began when a person was still fairly young.
I would suggest that young people consider going into the same profession as their parents. They will probably be better career counselors than any professional “career counselor”, many of whom are probably only qualified to help you get into the career of career counseling.
Your parents have an insider’s view into their professions. They can tell you how hard you’ll have to work and what sort of obstacles you’ll have to overcome.
I think the collapse of the modern education system (both the universities and the public schools) will herald the return of apprenticeships and the rise of specialized high schools.
Specialized schools like the kind I am describing already exist, but they are not as common as they should be. I knew a guy who was taught oil painting in high school. I would have killed to go to a specialized high school like that.
I can imagine specialized high schools focusing on the following subjects:
Fabrication and Manufacturing
Art and Design
Specific industries or even specific companies could even operate or sponsor high schools to teach the specific skill sets they require, becoming their primary recruitment sources.