The (questionable) value of lifelong learning

We are told, on an almost everyday basis, that we need to upskill regularly  and learn new skills lest we get caught up in the tidal wave of globalisation or find that technology has made us obsolete. Of course the ones who are telling us this are those who stand to make the most money from our fear – the higher educational institutions, which offer all manner of courses for our benefit, from postgraduate conversion courses to masters and doctoral degrees. These much admired giants of education will quite happily take your money and years of your life in return for providing you with a shiny new certificate, but what they won’t tell you is whether you’ll be employable afterwards. Pity the middle aged secretary who uses her pension fund to finance her childhood dream of studying only to find that she’s back to typing memos after graduation because no-one advised her that she’s unemployable in her new field due to her age. Now perhaps I’m being a tad cynical here, but in my view this amounts to nothing short of theft. Where are these institution’s ethics? Should they be accountable for admitting her? 

Please share your story if you feel you’ve been a victim of the great higher education rip off. I’d love to hear them. Who knows, if we get enough stories together, we could lobby for change!

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