scarcity, part the second

Here’s an interesting story about credential inflation, and I believe it highlights a disturbing (but sadly not new) trend from the Socialism For Corporations, A Hobbesian Dystopia For The Rest Of Us brigades.

Back in the proverbial day, when we had tax rates on the highest earners even I think were too high but somehow had unprecedented economic growth, companies used to hire people right out of high school and then train them in the ways of the company. Sometimes, they would seek out graduates of vo-tech programs, then give them a few months training themselves – with pay – and put them out on the line.

Of course, that’s not the case now. Why? Easier to outsource to higher education, looks better to the big shareholders (bigger dividend, don’tcha know). Meanwhile, as a college professor, I deal with kids who are not prepared for college-level work (none recently, for the record) but who feel compelled to go because jobs that shouldn’t require the BA/BS now do.

Because the article featured the field of dental hygiene, I sent the link to a dear friend who is a dentist. Here is a quote from his reply:

As you are no doubt aware, in response to the rapid rise in healthcare costs, there is considerable shift from the physician or dentist down to lesser trained individuals, such as the nurse practitioner, etc.

I believe this goes right to the heart of the matter. Someone – and it certainly isn’t the faculty, I can tell you – is making money on this, and thus has a vested interest in keeping it this way. Until you solve that particular issue, I fear this will not change.

On an ancillary topic, I sure wish that aforementioned dentist would blog. His interests are wide-ranging and fascinating.