If you’re smart enough to get into a prestige college, you’re smart enough to succeed without college, writes William Baldwin in Forbes.
Maybe a B.A. is worth real money because it signals to employers that the job candidate is capable. If so, there ought to be some way to send this signal without blowing $160,000 on four years of liberal arts courses. Think of all the savings to society if Yale were willing to sell, for a mere $16,000, a certificate saying that such-and-such an applicant was duly admitted but chose not to attend.
Yale won’t do it? Okay, some entrepreneur could step in with a company called Virtual Sheepskin. Send off your SAT scores and an essay to Virtual, and get a piece of paper saying you are Ivy League material.
Some trades — professor of gender studies — require academic training, writes Baldwin, but software, journalism and bricklaying are best learned on the job.
The Philosophical Cowboy reckons that’s signalling theory.