Educational Frustrational


I totally should be studying for my ethics final tomorrow, but frankly I think the textbook lacks philosophical rigor, and I can’t really bring myself to study all that much.

I did study a lot for my theory of computation course. I find it fascinating, and I can see the applicability in software design and programming languages.

I probably should have studied for my web programming class, but reading “Parallel and Concurrent Programming in Haskell” was way more interesting.

I want to be reading “Practical Object-Oriented Design in Ruby”, but I may not make an A in my ‘UNIX Systems Programming in C’ class unless I study the texts provided (one of which refers to Visual Studio 98 and advises using deprecated C functions).

I’m finding that I feel pretty frustrated with my educational experience. I can go on Youtube, Coursera, etc. and find extremely high quality educational material from institutions like MIT, Stanford, and other high level colleges. I can, or rather could, if I had time. Instead, I find myself jumping through an inane series of hoops for a line on my resume to guarantee a slightly higher chance of a slightly higher salary.

The education system has to optimize for the incentives placed on it. These include the metrics that are easy to take. Unfortunately, the intersection between the things that are easy to measure and the things that are useful to learn and know seems to be small. I don’t want to waste my time learning things that are easy to measure and worthless, even if that’s making up a significant amount of what I’m being evaluated on.

All of this is putting me in debt for an absurd quantity of money.

Education needs to be fixed, but the tools and material are all out there already. The real value of a degree isn’t the skill attained. It’s a line on your resume, a little bit of status you can wear. Maybe what we need is a cultural fix in how we evaluate each other as potential contributors.