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Stephan Morgan

9/22/2015
Should Education Be a Direct Path to a Career Choice?
College has always been seen as a place to discover ones self. To find where
you belong in society and what career will best suit you for your future. It is a
proven statistic that the average college student will change their major at least
once, if not more during their time in school. For this reason college has been set up
the way it is now for a very long time. College students of today are very different
than the college students of the past. Authors Mike Rose and Mark Edmundson both
believe the educational system in the U.S. needs to be altered. Mike Roses article I
Just Wanna Be Average. Rose explains how being average during your time in
school is the best way to get through and be well liked while in the classroom. This
kind of idea is very similar to Mark Edmundsons article Oh the use of Liberal
Education: I. As Lite Entertainment for Bored College Students. Edmundson who
says, Most of my students seem desperate to blend in, to look right, not to make a
spectacle of themselves.(285). Both Rose and Edmundson agree that the idea
students have to fit in with the whole is diminishing the ability for students to show
passion in learning or expressing their intellect. If these two authors see education
as a broken system, should education be more a direct path to a desired career
choice?
In his article Rose writes about his days in the classroom and how many of his
classes would seem wasteful and ineffective. Rose talked about a program he was
put in by his school, Vocational education has aimed at increasing the economical
opportunities of students who do not do well in our schools.(305). This program
Rose was put in while attending grade school did not live up to the standards that it
was created for. Rose explains how there were just not the right kind of teachers
there to grab the attention, or try to engage the students in learning. This program

Stephan Morgan
9/22/2015
Should Education Be a Direct Path to a Career Choice?
according to Rose simply got students through school even if there was no learning
or molding of a successful student taking place. His sentence I did what I had to do
to get by, and I did it with a half a mind.(306) helps paint the picture of what most
students who have a hard time in school tend to say to themselves when taking
classes that they believe do not directly benefit them. This type of thinking will
shout out students to higher education and will most likely keep some students out
of college. Which is fine, there needs to be blue collar workers in the world. There is
such an emphasis on everyone getting further education exceeding high school, but
college is not for everyone.
High school should be the deciding grounds for who is capable of taking their
knowledge and skills of learning to the next level, and also for those who are going
to be excellent at doing manual labor or other careers that do not require a college
degree. If more time in high school was spent on weeding out those who will
continue onto college and those who will be just fine with a high school diploma, it
would help those who expect to attend college to accurately decide their career
path sooner and more efficiently. If someone is passionate about the liberal arts or
history and they feel they would be happy in that field, then educate that student
about what careers are available and what they pay, and what the job market for
that career is. This will allow college professors to have students in their classrooms
that are there to learn and not there just to get a passing grade. Edmundson talks
about how the educational levels of teaching are becoming less because certain
teachers and courses have become relaxed in order to gain enough students in their
classrooms. Edmundson writes, One of the ways weve tried to stay attractive is by
loosening up. We grade more softly than our colleagues in science.(288). This is a

Stephan Morgan
9/22/2015
Should Education Be a Direct Path to a Career Choice?
prime example of why Edmundson believes the college is becoming more of a
customer-student (289) based facility. Edmundson talks about the importance of
professors having to mold their teaching style and grading style to the likings of
their students, instead of having to buckle down and force themselves to learn and
comprehend what the professor is teaching, students are able to drop a teacher and
move to a more lackadaisical professor known for relaxed grading and less harsh
testing. This type of education is a direct result from colleges becoming more and
more about being a business and making money rather than arming students with
the knowledge and preparation needed to become successful people in society.
If ever asked the question, Should education be a direct path to a desired
career choice? Mike Rose would most likely say no. With the amount of changes he
went through during high school, it would be really hard to imagine Mike Rose
knowing he wanted to have a profession in the liberal arts. For him to believe a
system where you should know what kind of career you wish to pursue by the time
you are around eighteen years old is unfathomable. With the lack of teachers that
can engage students in a subject and open their minds to explore the mass amount
of possibilities out there, it is almost impossible to think a new system of a direct
path to a career would serve the majority any good. Edmundson, I believe would
hold a different perspective on the same question. With his experience as a
professor and seeing how college students behave in classes they do not feel
necessary towards their future career goal, I feel he would be impressionable to the
idea of having only students that are genuinely interested in the courses he is
teaching. Edmundson says, Its too bad that the idea of genius has been
denigrated so far, because it actually offers a live alternative to the demoralizing

Stephan Morgan
9/22/2015
Should Education Be a Direct Path to a Career Choice?
culture of hip in which most of my students are mired. (293) What Edmundson
means here is that most of the students he observes are more about being in the
status quo and remaining popular by staying cool. Which in this case being cool is
the same as being relaxed and dumb about certain parts of education. If
Edmundson had a classroom full of students who were interested in the liberal arts
and found beauty in poems, and stories, then there is a much greater chance for
genius to originate.
With the lack of passion observed by both Rose, and Edmundson. The
question of making college a more direct path instead of forcing students to be
involved and take up space within classes they have no interest, becomes more
appealing. Rose would argue that there is not enough teachers to promote
education as something to be admired, or passionate about in this world. While
Edmundson would argue that maybe if the teachers had a classroom full of students
who were interested in expanding their learning on the course they were taking
because it had a great impact on the career they were headed for, it might be
enough to make both parties passionate about education. The educational system
of today is very flawed and has many pressing concerns that should be taking care
of in order to better help students learn more efficiently. However, this is the best
system we have that can generate educated people as a whole, who are able to get
quality jobs within society. Until there is a system created to help both those who
are passionate about education and those who only need it to get by, there is little
chance of change happening.

Stephan Morgan
9/22/2015
Should Education Be a Direct Path to a Career Choice?
Work Cited
Rose, Mike. I Just Wanna Be Average Exploring Relationships: Globalization and
Learning in the 21st

Century. Ed. Mid-Michigan Community College. Boston:

Pearson, 2013. 295-312. Print.


Edmundson, Mark. On the Uses of Liberal Education: I. As Lite Entertainment for
Bored College Students Exploring Relationships: Globalization and Learning in the
21st Century. Ed. Mid-Michigan Community College. Boston: Pearson, 2013. 282-294.
Print.