#CollegeEducation #education #colleges #EducationDecisions
Does one get a college education simply to get a good job? Or, does one get a college education to expand his or her mind, and learn to think critically?
It appears most students today view a college education in practical terms: what’s the (employment) payoff at the end?
But, should they?
Maureen Downey, education columnist for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, explored this topic in her May 10, 2022 column.
Downey quotes from the book “The Real World of College: What Higher Education Is and What It Can Be,” by Wendy Fischman and Howard Gardner of the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
The authors accuse college of “mission sprawl” and abandoning their main purpose, which they describe as enabling students to analyze, reflect, connect and communicate on the critical questions they will encounter in their lives and in the world, Downey writes.
“You go on a college tour and you hear about 100 different things,” Downey quotes Gardner. But what they don’t hear enough, in the authors’ minds, is how colleges develop the mind, Downey writes.
“If students don’t leave college better thinkers, writers and communicators, the colleges fail their core mission, Downey attributes to the authors.
Let’s break down what a college education is, and should be.
First, let’s establish that no college education is wasted, if the student vigorously pursues his or her studies, regardless of what his or her major is.
But, if a student, or his or her family, is paying dearly for that education, the student and family can reasonably expect a payoff at the end. Usually, that’s defined as a good job and career launch for the student. Worse yet, if the student incurs thousands of dollars in debt for that education, he or she had better have a good income to pay it back.
Today’s political environment might describe what the Harvard authors say the colleges’ mission should be as “indoctrination” of a certain political position. Or, as Downey calls it, “political correctness and free speech.”
A college education today also involves fun, new friendships, sports and other entertainment that can help mold a young person’s life.
This begs the question: why can’t a college education accomplish both the academic and practical goals students may have?
Certainly, some students’ studies can focus on critical thinking. Others can focus on the practical skills and knowledge that will help them launch the careers they want.
It boils down to choices. A student first must figure out what he or she wants to do after college. That requires him or her to take a certain batch of core courses toward that end. But in every semester schedule, there are usually electives that a student can choose to take that may have nothing to do with his or her major, but are of personal interest.
The smart student will choose those electives to help him or her develop his or her mind and make him or her a more well rounded, or well grounded, person.
Remember, too, that a college education isn’t for everyone. So, students and parents must determine whether the prospective college student is suited to college and ready for college (academically and financially).
The choices the student makes if he or she goes to college will determine how he or she uses his or her degree after graduation, and what kind of person he or she becomes.


#jobs #JobMarket #employment #employees #employers
Despite talk of recession, layoffs among tech companies and others, the job market is still hot.
In fact, a remarkable 517,000 jobs were created in January 2023, according to reports.
“Employers are having to work harder – in some markets – to attract talent.”
So says Sarah Johnston, founder of Briefcase Coach, as quoted in an article by Andrew Seaman, senior editor for Job Search & Careers at LinkedIn News.
“You are seeing shorter job applications, more recruiter outreach and in some cases compensating candidates to interview,” the article quotes Johnston.
Still, she says in the article, applicants have to put their best foot forward.
Sure, jobs are plentiful at most levels. Walmart plans to hire 50,000 associates. Dell plans to hire 5,000 workers, Raytheon needs 3,750 more employees and Wells Fargo says it hires thousands of entry-level people each year, the article says.
In other words, yes, employers need workers. But they are still particular about whom they hire.
Therefore, as a prospective employee, you can perhaps be more confident, but you still have to impress.
Employers need more bodies, but they also need dependable bodies.
There are many stories floating around about workers reporting for work one day, then not showing up – in some cases, ever again.
In previous times, employers would leave a position open until they find just the right person. Some likely still do that, but many may be a bit more flexible in today’s market.
But, if you, as a prospective employee, find a place you’d like to work, show your prospective boss that you have what it takes, that he or she can count on you to be there day in and day out and put forth a good image for the company.
As employers, it’s best not to overpromise and under-deliver to attract workers. If workers find that what you told them doesn’t match the reality, they likely will not stay long.
As employees, know that job descriptions change. Sometimes, things you were promised when you were hired can be altered. The job you thought you were taking can turn into something a bit different. Don’t let that bother you, if you like where you work. You may have to roll with the changes, because, to stay competitive, companies have to evolve – often quickly.
If you have to leave an employer, do so with as much notice as possible. Be aware, also, that employers may not offer you the same courtesy. You could show up one day, and immediately be shown the door. But, as an employee, you have to be a good person. You may need that employer to give you a reference someday.
Yes, there are laws and company policies in which previous employers can verify your employment, but that’s all. It’s best to have the best relationship you can have with any employer, so that he or she can personally recommend you.
In short, the job market is great for most people looking for work. But, as a potential employee, you still have to be at your best to land a good job.
You have to strive to not only be a good employee, but a better person.


#GreatWealthTransfer #BabyBoomers #wealth #inheritances #EstatePlanning
A few generations back, the parents of Baby Boomers turned, or were about to turn, huge amounts in inheritance to their children or other heirs.
Those parents had built usually modest homes for relatively modest prices, though they didn’t think so at the time. Much of that homebuilding was thanks in large part to the federal GI bill that was passed as veterans came home from World War II to start families and new lives.
Those modest homes increased in value many times over during that generation’s lifetime.
That gave the children of that generation a big chunk of wealth to inherit.
And, many of them did – big time.
Now, the Baby Boom generation has a bunch of wealth to pass on to its children – the GenXers and Millennials.
Wes Moss, who writes a Money Matters column for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and has a similar weekly program on WSB radio in Atlanta, calls this “The Great Wealth Transfer.”
He discussed it in his column published April 24. 2022.
Moss writes that between $30 trillion and $68 trillion in wealth will be passed down from Baby Boomers.
To put that in perspective, the U.S. GDP (gross domestic product) for 2021 was $22 trillion, Moss writes.
When you take the 136 million people who are GenXers or Millennials, and you use the $30 trillion figure, that would mean each of those folks – statistically speaking — would get $220,000, Moss writes. We know that not everyone will inherit that much individually, and some will inherit much more.
Think you don’t have that kind of money in your family? Moss sites a person with a great aunt who died. The great nephew didn’t realize how much money she had. She was able to give all her great nephews and great nieces a nice chunk of change.
In other words, there could be that kind of money somewhere in your family, and you may not know it until a death occurs.
For Baby Boomers, this lesson brings about the need for proper estate planning. Yes, you may have more than what you think you have. How it gets distributed upon your death, or even before, should not be left to chance – or probate court. It would be worth the investment to draw out an estate plan, such as a will or living trust, to make sure the money goes where, or to whom, you want, when you want.
If you are a GenXer or Millennial, talk to your parents and other family members about how THEY want their estates distributed. Make sure that, if you believe you may have something coming to you, that your interest is protected.
Of course, if there are no heirs or your family members have not shown themselves worthy of inheritance, having an estate plan is even more crucial, so that your money goes where you want.
If you are transferring your wealth, get an adviser you trust to tell you how, when and to whom to give your assets – according to your wishes. Keep in mind that you should do all YOU want to do while alive with your assets. Don’t think about your heirs first. Think of you first.
Remember, too, that how, when and to whom you give will likely have tax consequences. Know those consequences, and what could happen if a mistake is made, well ahead of time.
It’s certainly great to reward loyal, loving family members or other heirs with your wealth. But if you think about you first, and plan carefully, all concerned should be, if not happy, assured that the distribution was done as you wanted it to be done.


#PoliceOfficers #GoodPeople #jobs #hiring #students #Memphis #TyreNichols
The tragic death of Tyre Nichols in Memphis, Tenn., raises lots of questions about policing, but also about hiring.
How did the officers involved in Nichols’ death get hired as cops in the first place?
Today’s job market is such that in many fields – technology overhired during pandemic and many of those firms are now cutting staff – there are more jobs than people. A record 517,000 jobs were created in January 2023, producing the lowest unemployment rate since 1969.
In the past, a student graduating high school who wanted to be a police officer had a slim chance of getting into the academy. It was very competitive.
Today, departments have staff shortages all over the country. Are those departments lowering their standards to fill their vacancies?
These questions require some thought about how we got here. First, policing, even with strong public support, is a difficult job. It requires people to put their lives on the line every day, not knowing whether they’ll finish their shifts and get home in one piece.
It requires great physical stamina. Many young people today are not in terribly good physical shape, shrinking the pool of the best recruits.
Are departments lowering their physical requirements just to fill vacancies? Is an out-of-shape cop better than no cop at all? Is the prospect of whipping a recruit into good physical shape too daunting? Would you kill that recruit in training before he or she gets into shape?
Another issue in hiring for police departments is public support. Often, the communities most in need of police provide minimal public support for law enforcement. Even if you are a good cop, or potentially a good cop, are you able to withstand a community that, more often than not, thinks ill of you?
Lastly, police in many places, although they receive great benefits, may not be paid well. Are you, as a recruit, willing to work all kinds of shifts, and put up with lots of abuse, for what you will receive in compensation? Do you have to have some other reason to want to be a cop? Is that reason to help the community – or not?
The reasons for raising these questions is that we don’t just need police officers. We need GOOD police officers.
A diverse police force is a great goal to achieve, but, first and foremost, we need good people who treat others, regardless of how they themselves are treated or what these people may have done, with respect and dignity. They must know the difference between self-defense and aggression.
All people get angry at some point. But, people who are constantly angry, regardless of what they are angry about, may not make good police officers.
The next question to raise: are good people hard to find?
The rhetorical answer may be yes and no. But, the actual answer may involve deeper questions about how children are raised, educated and cared for.
Parents don’t just need to raise good children. They need to raise good adults.
Educators don’t just need to produce academically good students. They also need to show students how to behave in a diverse world, how to interact with people who may or may not be like them and how their actions – good or bad – will have consequences.
If we produce good adults through good homes, schools, churches etc., we will have better police officers. We will also have better people in other professions.
It may be the hardest job we have as a community, or as a world.