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Elon Musk: “Colleges are basically for fun and to prove you can do your chores”

Elon Musk: “Colleges are basically for fun and to prove you can do your chores”

“You don’t need college to learn stuff”

Musk makes a great point here about the value of higher education.

CNBC reports:

Elon Musk says college is ‘for fun’ and not for learning, echoing PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel

In 2011, PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel began paying college kids to drop out of school to develop a start-up. Elon Musk, who led the payments company with Thiel before becoming CEO of Tesla and creating SpaceX, has a similar view of higher education.

During his keynote at the Satellite 2020 conference in Washington, D.C., on Monday, an audience member asked Musk about the necessity of college education.

“You don’t need college to learn stuff,” he said. The value is “seeing whether somebody can work hard at something.”

He added that “colleges are basically for fun and to prove you do your chores, but they’re not for learning.”


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I had a conversation with a guy many years ago who said something similar. He said he would always prefer a college graduate with ANY degree, because they had proved they could stick to even the most dull and meaningless work.

At the time, I didn’t have a college degree and had noticed that he hired some incredibly stupid people, often as management. YMMV.

healthguyfsu | March 15, 2020 at 1:22 pm

What you report on is both true and incredibly frustrating. We no longer challenge anyone and we are constantly pressured to push people through the gates to raise metrics in the US News Rankings. Some of those people need a reality check and a kick in the butt. We give them a boot in the butt, but it sends them out the door with a piece of paper and a handshake.

    healthguyfsu in reply to healthguyfsu. | March 15, 2020 at 1:26 pm

    One other problem is the drift in effort between teacher and student.

    I don’t mind working hard and working harder.

    What disheartens me is that I’ve had to work progressively harder over the years to deliver content and get it through to irresponsible people (to keep those grade hawk administrators happy) who spend less and less time on it to find the fastest way from point A to point B.

    I’m certainly not talking about every student, but it’s frustrating that I’m actually creating more skaters in the middle of the grade pack because so few will do the extra work that is really not required of them. They are missing the challenge stimulus that spurs that kind of adversarial growth.

The evil of credentialism is the credential(s) become a substitute for intelligence and ability.

The Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz wanted a brain, but all he got was a degree.

    The Friendly Grizzly in reply to tz. | March 16, 2020 at 7:34 am

    Part of the rush for credentials is that ouor betters in black robes have ruled that aptitude tests and qualification exams create a disparate impact on those who lack the intelligence or comprehension to do a particular job. Racism, you know!

      IneedAhaircut in reply to The Friendly Grizzly. | March 16, 2020 at 9:16 am

      Higher education used to at least teach students critical thinking and challenge their pre-conceived ideas of the world. Now even those most basic principles have been thrown on the bonfire.

Our world is full of educated idiots. The Left has been in charge of public school education for a couple of generations. Nowadays it’s a primary way to ensure non thinking deeebs.

Unless you’re getting an engineering degree, accounting degree or the like (bachelor of science), you are probably just continuing high school (where you learned nothing, anyway). If you are a serious student and studying fine arts or the like, do at least realize the degree will mean nothing in the marketplace: only your entrepreneurial skills will – if you have them.

That’s okay if you havne’t ‘found yourself’ yet, you havent’t. But to blow that crazy kind of money on baloney and partying: travel, wander or get into the workforce instead, until you are ready to knuckledown to studying.

Otherwise, Musk is right.

Well, he’s not wrong, but he ought to be.

We created this situation when we decided that everyone should go to college. Since we cannot change the reality of the bell curve, we have instead dumbed down successive levels of our educational system and pushed everyone through. College, for most students (math, hard sciences, and engineering excepted), is the new high school.

Wasn’t it Joseph Sobran who said, “In fifty years we’ve gone from teaching Latin in high schools to teaching remedial English in college”? (Going off memory.)