My opinion is that the greatest harm that Universities do their students is to instill a false sense of belonging to the economic elite. Indeed, higher ed marketing is full of "Million dollars more" than not getting a degree, and so they set expectations that cannot be met.
Case in point, a young graduate that I met over the weekend. I was walking Wolfgang down Canton Street (Roswell's "restaurant row") to get him used to crowds of people. Since most people love a puppy, this was a slow process - walk 5 feet and wait while sumdood scratches Wolfie's ears.
One of those sumdoods was a young graduate having a beer with his chums. He'd been out of school since May, but was still unemployed. Three things struck me from our brief conversation:
1. It seems that I'm an idiot or something, because he let me know a couple times that he knew all about what I was saying, only more so. Sure wish I was as smart as he is.
2. He's simply unable to find any work, or even get a reply to his resumes. His major? International Relations. Seems passing strange that he's not already Deputy Undersecretary at State Department.
3. I mentioned the guy from Canrig I met in the Denver Airport while I was grabbing a burger. The guy was flying back out the the Bakken oil field, and lamented how they simply couldn't fill their open positions and that they train unskilled newbies. Seems that $75,000 a year is the starting point, and hard workers can make six digits with overtime. Unskilled hard workers.
Our young hero the recent graduate seemed slightly contemptuous when I mentioned this. No doubt it would be a step down for a (do doubt highly regarded) International Relations grad sleeping in his parent's basement to get crude oil under his fingernails while making six figures.
If this guy takes two or three years doing unpaid internships and the like, that's a quarter million dollars that his University indoctrination will have cost him. They say that education is expensive, but boy, howdy. But I guess that there is a certain type (an expensively educated type) who will prefer #OCCUPYWALLSTREET to #OCCUPYBAKKENOILFIELD.
False class consciousness. He thinks that he's fit to Rule, because of his education.