Brasilmagic\’s Weblog

Venting to the World

Not everyone should attend College

Brazilians usually aspire to attend College. Federal Universities are free, which is attractive for those who do not have the means to pay for a private school. However, to win a vacancy in a chosen field of study, one must pass a very difficult university entrance exam, where thousands of students compete for the same spot. That usually means that middle and upper middle class students, whose parents were capable of paying for the best private elementary, middle and high schools, often have an advantage. Kids who attended public schools often have to work their way to a private College, earning their degrees at night and therefore not having the same results.  The notion that everyone needs a College degree however, is based on the perceived status that a College degree gives you. In the United States, electricians, plumbers, mechanics and carpenters have more respect from society. They still are looked down as “working class” folks, but their skills are more valued and their compensation is sometimes comparable or even higher than their white collar fellowmen. In Brazil unfortunately, these professions are underpaid and get little respect.

In reality, not everyone has the need or the skills necessary to go to College. Some people are more practical than academic. They don’t like to read, but they like to fix things, build things, make things. Some people have exceptional interpersonal skills, and do well working with people. A 4 year College degree is a huge investment, both financial and timewise. You need to focus on your studies and read and write a lot. You develop your analytical thinking and you deepen your understanding of the world, but some people do not have the interest or the capacity to dedicate themselves to so much theory.

There are many professions out there than can provide a good living and are useful to society. These skills are very much needed. Usually many local Colleges provide certificates and Associate’s degrees which teach these professions. Optometrists, dental hygienists, mechanics, computer professionals, etc. These trades should be considered for those who don’t want to make the commitment a 4 year undergraduate degree requires, and want to have a useful and stable profession. Coincidentally, the Huffingtonpost had an article on it today: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/13/college-for-all-experts-s_n_575396.html

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May 13, 2010 - Posted by | Difference between cultures, Society, Workplace

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