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1. Adleta implies that the American dream is possession of "dignity, security, as well as opportunity" when those are the things that going to college, the recommended course for achieving those things, failed him. Instead, he gained on-job experience and leveraged that, to chase the American Dream.

2.Adleta believes that college becoming free would equate it to public schooling; a required baseline for employability, which he thinks would cause employers to become even more educationally selective, and less people would be able to afford the new required level of education. I see the merit in his argument, and agree that without a shift in the paradigm, employers would react poorly to free college. But, and he doesn't mention this in his argument, if employers did adopt the proposed pragmatism, I think free college would help shrink the class divide drastically.

3.Employers might argue that a college degree is more valuable than experience, even if one has many more years of work than education. And there's many possible rationales for this; for one, 5 years of electrical engineering for homes only exposes one to a small subset of the field and the trade. 2 years of trade school likely prepares an engineer much better for a broader range of work, and any specific knowledge can be acquired on the job.
Adleta might respond by saying that practically, all an employer needs is someone who can do the job. 5 years experience is 5 years of doing a good job at what the employer needs, for most positions.

Didn't have time for the rest of the questions! But they look interesting!


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Flora Xu

I disagree that free college would not be beneficial to America’s society because most careers still require an education. Although many jobs these days require many years of work experience just to apply for an entry-level position, these jobs also require at least a Bachelor’s degree. Another issue is that not every job has internships or apprenticeships that students can learn from instead of a college education, as different fields have different requirements. Sure, one could argue that college is not for everyone because people have different career goals and learning styles, but higher education is not a linear path since there are multiple options, like vocational school. College may not be necessary, but work experience alone is not enough because knowledge is also needed. For example, common professions that are included in trade schools are engineers and nurses, which both require the experience and knowledge to excel. According to Adleta, he was able to secure a career through work experience, not college, “I had been told by my schoolteachers that a college degree was the way to achieve the American Dream. But I learned that this was a misguided maxim at best. I had achieved dignity, security, as well as opportunity by leaving college.” Although I agree that the requirements for many entry-level positions are ridiculously impossible for young adults, the issue is that the job industry is unwilling to change. Free tuition should be the answer because student loan debts are ubiquitous in the U.S., resulting in a harder way of living. I understand where Adleta’s argument is coming from, but not every person has the luck of being able to find a secure job without a degree or at least some kind of education or training. Besides job training, higher education can prepare an individual for the real world where colleges have courses teaching about life skills, which high schools unfortunately, do not have nor require these life skills courses. In conclusion, higher education is beneficial for jobs and is more than just college, as there are vocational schools, too, which is why higher education should be free of tuition.


I mean...why not both?

Eric C

I agree with Flora that free college would not benefit American society because most careers still require an education. Although many jobs today demand years of work experience for entry-level positions, these jobs also typically require at least a Bachelor's degree. Not every job offers internships or apprenticeships as alternatives to a college education, since different fields have distinct requirements. While some argue that college is not for everyone due to varying career goals and learning styles, higher education is not a linear path and includes multiple options, such as vocational schools. College may not be necessary for everyone, but work experience alone is insufficient because knowledge is equally important.
For example, common professions included in trade schools, such as engineers and nurses, require both experience and knowledge to excel. In his article, Adleta argues that he secured a career through work experience rather than college: "I had been told by my schoolteachers that a college degree was the way to achieve the American Dream. But I learned that this was a misguided maxim at best. I had achieved dignity, security, as well as opportunity by leaving college." While Adleta's experience is valid, it does not reflect the reality for everyone. Not all individuals have the opportunity to find secure jobs without some form of education or training.
Making college free would address the issue of student loan debt, which is a significant burden for many Americans. By eliminating this financial barrier, more individuals could pursue higher education and improve their socioeconomic status. Free college would not diminish the value of a degree but rather democratize access to education, allowing more people to achieve their potential.
In conclusion, higher education is beneficial for job preparation and personal development. It includes not just traditional college degrees but also vocational training, both of which should be accessible to everyone. Free tuition would help alleviate the financial burden of education, making it possible for more individuals to pursue their career goals and contribute meaningfully to society. While work experience is important, it should complement, not replace, formal education. By providing free college, we can create a more equitable and skilled workforce, better prepared to meet the demands of the modern job market.

Constantine S

In terms of Adleta's argument that employers should drop degree requirements, I would have to disagree with his perspective. This is due to the fact that although it's reasonable to ask employers to be more open-minded towards other experiences people may have that qualify them for the job, college degrees are still a standardized way to test someone's qualifications. I believe that although there are other ways to get experience, college degrees shouldn't be dropped, as they're a definite way to be able to get qualifications for a job one might want. I do understand the frustration people have when their experience can't get them a job, and that they feel just as capable, however there are standards set in place so that people who aren't qualified can't get the job. That's why I propose that rather than getting rid of the degree requirement, employers have a wider set of standards so that people who are qualified through other means are able to get the job, or have the same opportunity to be able to get the job. Another idea I could propose would be to introduce a standardized test that people without a degree could take in order to ensure they have the qualifications for the job. I think that college as a whole is a great way to foster people who know what they want and are determined to do the job right. Although I respect those who gain experience outside of college, I do believe that they will need some sort of proof for them to be able to get the job, as they are in the same pool as people who have contributed money, and time through college to be able to get the same job. In some cases, college can be seen as more proof of someone being committed and determined for a job or a position.

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