The False Choice: Going to Harvard or Working at McDonald's

In the United States we have shamefully convinced most high school students that they either need to go to Harvard or they need to go to McDonald’s.

"The vast majority of students' education after high school will look nothing like mine," says Jeff Livingston, Senior Vice President at McGraw-Hill Education. 


Livingston's education looked like this: he graduated high school, then went to an Ivy League university, graduated "and went on with my career," he says. "That is now an unusual experience to a ridiculous extent except among education policy people."

The reality is that many more students leave high school and go directly to work, where they might hope to learn career skills on the job. The problem, however, as Livingston points out, is that we have a "tragic absence of apprenticeships" in the United States. In Europe, on the other hand, young people are getting "both academic training and work training while being paid by an employer."

Livingston says young people in the U.S. are missing out on job opportunities that involve middle-level skills. "In the United States we have shamefully convinced most high school students that they either need to go to Harvard or they need to go to McDonald’s," he says. 

Watch the video here:

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Dead – yes, dead – tardigrade found beneath Antarctica

A completely unexpected discovery beneath the ice.

(Goldstein Lab/Wkikpedia/Tigerspaws/Big Think)
Surprising Science
  • Scientists find remains of a tardigrade and crustaceans in a deep, frozen Antarctic lake.
  • The creatures' origin is unknown, and further study is ongoing.
  • Biology speaks up about Antarctica's history.
Keep reading Show less

This 1997 Jeff Bezos interview proves he saw the future coming

Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com, explains his plan for success.

Technology & Innovation
  • Jeff Bezos had a clear vision for Amazon.com from the start.
  • He was inspired by a statistic he learned while working at a hedge fund: In the '90s, web usage was growing at 2,300% a year.
  • Bezos explains why books, in particular, make for a perfect item to sell on the internet.
Keep reading Show less

Why are women more religious than men? Because men are more willing to take risks.

It's one factor that can help explain the religiosity gap.

Photo credit: Alina Strong on Unsplash
Culture & Religion
  • Sociologists have long observed a gap between the religiosity of men and women.
  • A recent study used data from several national surveys to compare religiosity, risk-taking preferences and demographic information among more than 20,000 American adolescents.
  • The results suggest that risk-taking preferences might partly explain the gender differences in religiosity.
Keep reading Show less