|Dan Rather is NOT pleased.|
Anyway, let's get this out in the open: a college degree is only worth as much as the person who has it. There's a lot of layers to that statement, and I think it covers just about any base you can imagine to argue against me.
First, a college degree's worth is not determined by how much money it's going to make you in the long run. Some people might use that as a criteria for saying whether or not a degree is worthless, but if you are incapable of looking past that then you clearly have no idea what the purpose of education is. It's possible that you do know what the purpose of education is, but if you still look at a degree in terms of its salary power, then you've allowed yourself to be snowed by an ignorant society in intellectual decline.
The worth of a degree doesn't even have anything to do with the area of study. You could get a degree in women's studies or philosophy (commonly viewed as "worthless," not necessarily a value judgment on my part) and you still can't claim the degree is worthless. By doing so, you're saying that the knowledge within that field of study is worthless. Anyone who claims or implies that any knowledge is worthless is clearly someone who has been snowed by an ignorant society in intellectual decline.
The worth of a college degree is determined by one thing: the person who has it. The point of a bachelors degree is not to make you certified to say whatever you want about a particular subject. The whole point is to give you a base of knowledge to work from so that you can embark on an informed journey into discovering truth. It doesn't matter if that truth has to do with history, political science, philosophy, chemistry, bioengineering.
The point of the bachelors degree is to show you that you know exactly jack shit. But people don't get that anymore, because they've been made to believe that college degrees are little more than certifications. They've been told that it's pointless to have a degree in history, political science, and philosophy because it's not math or science. What you're not being told is that your own intellectual journey is determined by you.
If you buy into a professor's indoctrination crap (not all professors are like that, contrary to what people who've never been to college may believe) then that's your fault. That means that the worth of a degree has nothing to do with the professors you had or the insitution from which you obtained it. It doesn't matter if you get it from super-prestigious Harvard or from some small college in the middle of nowhere that no one has heard of.
If you stop learning when you've completed your bachelors because you think you know it all, then that's your fault. The bachelors degree is supposed to open your mind to the fact that there's thousands of years of accumulated knowledge, and that you've not even begun to scratch the surface of it. Silver is right to say that there are a bunch of pseudo-intellectuals out there, as there are few people who are willing to admit that they don't know shit.
The most important thing I learned after four years of college was that if I ever want to seriously understand the world and the shit head people that live in it, I have to look at reality from a different perspective. That's not to say that my professors were telling me that my perspective was wrong, but simply that if I'm only looking at the world through my eyes, then I'm definitely missing something. That's why my degree in American history and political science is worth something: because I understand that the world is a lot bigger than my own mind.
It's better to be educated than not educated. How do I know this? Well, I see a lot of non-educated people speak out about important shit all the time, and it's painfully obvious how oblivious they are to anything outside their own perceptions of reality.
That's not to say that a person without a college degree is stupid or never right about anything, but consider this:
There are people who sit back in their chairs and say "those pseudo-intellectuals are full of shit. They're stupid, and they don't know what they're talking about. Their world-views are so warped and out of tune with reality, and they can't see it because Marxist college professors blinded them to the real world."
Then there are people who sit back in their chairs and say "those uneducated Phillestine swine are full of shit. They're stupid and they don't know what they're talking about. Their world-vies are so warped and out of tune with reality, and they can't see it because they're uneducated and think that a college education is bunk."
Who is right? (Hint: That's a trick question)