Now, I understand why a surgeon, psychiatrist, engineer, architect, physicist, and accountant (to name a few) need an educational certificate of some sort. After all, they have someone's wealth, health, or life in their hands. In the case of the physicist, we can say they have Truth itself in their hands.

But what about people in the arts? A poet, painter, graphic artist, composer (music), or french horn player? Why would they need a diploma.

Well, the most obvious answer is "in order to get a job." So one question I have is this: If the person hiring the candidate for a job in the arts knows what he's looking for, should he be examining a diploma or examining the candidate's portfolio, or auditioning him, or doing some other more direct way of determining the candidate's skills and talent?

So, part of the insanity can be traced to incompetent and overly cautious.

I happen to be a photographer who is respected in his field. I'm self-taught. When someone asks me to recommend a school of photography, I tell them not to waste their time. If you want to learn just about any skill, any major city's library will have books teaching you whatever you need.

I know some will say that an education will give the creative student some direction. I find that truly creative people direct themselves. The are by nature idiosyncratic. The only ones who will really benefit from "direction" are the ones destined to be hacks.

You know what's sad? It's the person who gets an MA in something like graphic design or, worse, painting, and does it with student loans. I read recently about a young man who got his MA in painting with $100K+ in student loans. He will probably spend the rest of his life paying that off on an annual income of less than $40K.

Anyway, that's my rant. Do you agree or do you have a counter-rant?

So the question is,

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I would put nursing into the same category as doctors, as people who should have a college education before practicing in the private sector. Whenever the consequences of failure can affect someone's health, wealth, or longevity, I would want to know that they are educated in their field and have passed some sort of certification.

I think that the major problem with college these days is people don't plan. A B.A. in English will get you no where, but if one plans to go on and get a Ph.D. and teach college, that is different. A bachelors in Psychology is worthless, but with a higher degree options open up. A B.S. in Engineering is going to take a person much father than a B.A. in Art. Most of the people I know who have a B.A. or B.S. and do not have a job in their field, or are not in graduate school, had absolutely no plan for what they were going to do after (or a few did not get into graduate school).

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