The concept of higher education in America and policies relating to the application vis-à-vis societal and national importance has been an issue of great controversy in the present time. This is because different interpretations have been given on the real factors underlying the program. Like any other government program, providing education at tertiary level is a government responsibility and, therefore, it is the state that formulates the favoring policies to ensure that its citizens undergo a proper education system. However, this does not necessarily mean that the program does not experience challenges, and to a fact, it does. It is these challenges that have been exploited by specific writers who base their argument on the disputed challenges, typically ignoring the importance and achievements of the program. This paper, therefore, aims to examine the various views held on the American Post-secondary program and stands taken by various writers in relation to the higher education system in America.
According to existing statistics, United States of America already run shortage of skilled workforce. This is because of the industrial and employment sector growing faster than the annual growths in graduates. It is a matter of natural factor that a nation must match its industrial growth with labor growth. Economists argue that a fast and steadily growing nation that imports labor is self-defeating in nation growth, considering Growth Domestic Product (GDP). This is so since as match as income to the government is increased, debt to the nation in terms of wages and salaries owing to other nations increase. The evidence in the government setting up incentives to motivate people to attend schools through bursaries and higher education loans equally supports this economic concept of argument. The American higher education system is hence at certain instances self-defensive in the manner of its purpose to national growth and industrial sectors.
According to Charles Murray in his book Real Education, Murray thinks that only 10 percent to 20 percent of those who are enrolled in post-secondary education and institutions more so in universities should actually exist. Charles believes that much of the students enrolled for the four-year degrees programs add just add to academic deadweight. This is the proportion of learners who go through the fore-year learning program but at the end of the day do not achieve their purpose of undertaking the program. This is so because Murray argues that the academic ability of people differs and, therefore, not everyone who goes through the program will be able to pass as required. There must be a fraction that does not achieve the minimum required grade for getting employment.
Murray’s argument is supported by the fact that the are numerous cases of school drop out before completion of their degree programs. He believes only those who are legible and possible to complete their course should be going through the post-secondary education either at the state universities or community colleges.
Robert T. Perry reasons contrary to Charles Murray. Robert believes that Murray under looks even certain obvious evidences of post-secondary education in the society even if he do not point to the existing pressure on the American economy. More skilled-labor is required. Education is important, more so, at tertiary level that now fits someone into the employment market. Robert hence believes that Murray argument is self- defeating.
The current existing economic situation provides that the state is already short of skilled labor. These individuals have attained the post-secondary education in various fields of study. This implies that the only way to match the supply of skilled labor with the existing demand is only through training of more citizens who are legible for training.
Robert Perry believes the only way to catch up with the shortage of skilled workers is to train more people, just as it has always been a government objective. He gives an example of his home state Dakota that is experiencing a shortage of skilled workers including teachers. The only way that Robert foster as a mean of dealing with this shortage is training more people both in the state universities and communities colleges.
Robert T. Perry presumes real education to be and quantitative. He recognizes post-secondary education as giving mass education in proper training since it prepares students to the real world application of skills they acquired. The only way the state can benefit from these skills gained from attaining training is to ensure more qualified students succeeds going through post-secondary education so that the shortage in skilled labor can be met. This gives the basic purpose of education according to Robert. He also believes education is important for the basic purpose of expanding the reasoning ability of people.
The main purpose behind these arguments is identifying the purpose of education in the society, more so post-secondary education. A common question is how do the individuals and the society benefits from the provision of post-secondary education? What is its cost to the society? In addition, should it or not be prioritized?
Education is the fulfillment of the self-inspiration and ability to reason along situational beliefs (Parter, 1976). This explains the importance of education to individual. People, therefore, require education for various reasons. Such include securing employment and cognitive reasoning. This should be the main objective of Real Education. Real Education should be that which not only provides the learner with a chance to secure a job in the white color market, but also provide the learner with the skill of critical thinking. The government should, therefore, not only target increasing of graduates to fill the shortage in the market but should ensure that the graduates attain quality education. My view, therefore, is that more people should be trained through post-secondary education, but the training must ensure both quality and quantity education. This is to equip everyone through the system with adequate knowledge that can enable them live better than the non-schooled. This would give the training system a meaning.
This is quite different from both Murray’s and Robert’s beliefs of real education. Murray believes real education is not quantitative while Robert believes real education is quantitative. My suggestion is that real education should be both qualitative and quantitative. The states should focus on providing quality education to outweigh ill performances of graduates ensuring efficiency in production along providing maximize mass training to achieve supply of skilled workers. An educated society is self-sufficient and reliable, so the more the educated are, the better off the society.
Murray’s argument of educating the few and Robert’s view of increasing the number going through education does not capture the quality of education that is provided to graduates. The government must hence along providing for mass training through creating incentives such as giving loans to students and cutting down on tuition fees to lure many to join the training, it must also ensure providing quality education that would be beneficial in long term. Quality training would be very beneficial to the country in the end. This would enable the U.S. attain its employment goal and probably outweigh its competitors such as Canada and Japan in the skilled labor market.