Thursday, February 28, 2008

Quote of the Day

From Randall Collins, "Credential Inflation and the Future of Universities," in The Future of the City of Intellect: The Changing American University, ed. by Steven Brint (Stanford Univ. Press, 2002), p. 26:

Credential inflation is largely supply driven, not demand driven; it is driven by the expansion of schooling, like a government printing more paper money, not from demand by the economy for an increasingly educated labor force. The opposing theory, that rising educational requirements have been determined by the functional requirements of jobs in the modern economy, does not hold up under the evidence. I summarized that evidence twenty years ago . . . and have seen nothing since then that leads me to believe that educational requirements are any more demand-driving in our era of educational hyperinflation . . . . Even in our "high-tech" era, the value of educational credentials is still mainly determined by the fact that the U.S. educational system has built up continuously widening access to each successive level of degree; it has been able to flood the market for educated labor at virtually any level.



Blogger fromwembley said...

What a very interesting passage. I have not read that book but I plan to.

I wonder what this says about people. If education is less important then are people less important - at least in this economy? And does this mean that the US could get by with spending less on public education. I hope so.

Also, I wonder if the author covers skilled workers or differentiates them from educated workers. What I mean is that I know there is a shortage of skilled workers. This is especially true in machinist jobs and tool-and-die maker jobs as well as other skilled craftsmen positions.

8:05 AM  

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