Why we should strive to make education as affordable as possible
Yurts at Poncha Pass - Colorado Yurt Rentals and Sustainable Building Workshops - Photo of Chris in ground of Earthship

Written by Chris

March 9, 2014

With each passing day, it becomes more evident to me that our technological development, environmental understanding, and global knowledge continue to accelerate. From millions of years to move through the stone age, roughly 5,000 years for the tool age, ~600 years the iron age, ~100 years the industrial revolution, and with the onset of the current “information age” or “digital age” beginning in the 70s, our rate of knowledge acquisition is telescoping us forward at an ever greater acceleration.

Written by Matt_Silverman, Illustrated by Kiersten Essenpreis

Written by Matt_Silverman, Illustrated by Kiersten Essenpreis

As anyone currently alive bears witness to the leading edge of this telescoping principle, it is amusing to observe the acceleration now taking place over our single lifetimes. I still can remember playing a Game boy and listening to music on tape!  Now we’re talking I-phones, Twitter, Whatsapp, Skype, Tesla? Technology is rapidly changing the way we live and in many ways for the better. Of course this is a two-way street and we are learning about countless challenges, problems, and pearls that equally need answers and solutions. We can also observe these challenges manifesting themselves in the same telescoping fashion and therefore require ever-quicker responses.

So what does this acceleration have to do with education? If you’re a student or ever have been, you probably are familiar with student loans and the price of education; especially if you study in the states. Additionally, students are also aware of which jobs people are more likely to make a decent living doing. Perhaps it is why so many people go into law, business, and healthcare.

Beyond the prospect of specific jobs influencing what individuals choose to study, it is important to look at someone emerging from University with debt in the form of student loans. Loans have to be paid back and the name of that game is work. Often people have to take the work that is offered, and companies that were created yesterday represent that available work.

These jobs are often not start-ups, or new responses to new challenges, but companies older that today often dealing with problems with yesterday’s solutions. The ability for a student to emerge from an institution and look at the newest problems, set out and tackle those problems with the most current methods, is reserved for those that have the space to take a chance at innovation. Individuals tackling new issues in novel ways will therefore most likely be individuals without debt.

It makes sense on a community level then, that a government working to deal with the quickening evolution of challenges, foster an environment where its citizens are in a position to meet the most current problem with the most current method. However, we don’t live in an ideal world where budgets are endless. In fact, many governments are in the process of scaling back on public financing of education. So on an individual basis, we also should make every effort to shop around for education, make smart decisions regarding our financial capacity, and do whatever we can to avoid debt in the hope that each of us have the freedom to tackle the challenges we deem most important with solutions stemming from our own creativity and aspiration of our current knowledge, rather than under the umbrella of obsolete directions and motivations of days past.

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