A modern education should cover topics such as civic involvement, balancing a checkbook, eating healthy and exercising regularly. It should also cover spiritual exploration, sexual health, human rights, citizen rights, humanitarian aid and taxes. These topics should be part of the education a minor receives so that when they move on to being an adult, they can participate in society and seek a university or college education that is harmonious with their lifestyle and leads to a career that offers financial independence.
An educated member of society should seek education that offer skills for community building, interfacing with government and keeping current with issues that affect all of humanity such as pollution, waste management, water purification and food security in addition to the skills needed to be a productive employee within their career or industry.
Using the USA as an example, there are career certifications that lead to well paying careers such as that of a mechanic. This certification is provided by the National Institute of Automotive Safety Excellence. Another certification for a job or career comes from ServSafe and should be required for all restaurant employees for public health reasons. These certifications are career oriented only and should get a young adult through a few years of work along with their high school diploma. While working and saving money, employees can take inexpensive courses at a community college in civics, government, or physical exercise so they can join a collegiate sports team where they will make friends that share their same hobbies.
For those who finish high school with grades good enough to go into a certain profession, application for college should be considered and the colleges should also be more flexible about letting students work part time and taking time off of school. For example, a student should be able to work part time and go to school 3/4 or full time and take a semester off so their grades don’t drop from fatigue and exhaustion. Since we are talking about 45 years of work, career training and professional education needs to be more flexible. It does not seem absurd that a 35-38 year old may be working towards a second masters degree or their first PhD or that a 50 year old may be finishing up a second PhD for a career change with a plan of working in an office environment until 65.
For mental health reasons, it may also be better for a person desiring to be a doctor to start off working front desk at a doctors office or as a home care assistant and work that part time job while they do their first few years of medical studies. While becoming a doctor between the ages of 26 and 28 is an amazing accomplishment; having $800,000 in loans from medical school, a decent sized home and a “prestigious doctor’s vehicle” may be a bit too much stress for someone that is going in to 12-14 hour days after being in school non-stop since they were a child.
Education in developed nations should balance career goals and financial independence with rest and leisure time and nobody in a developed nation should feel as if they are going to end up homeless because they don’t have enough schooling or because their jobs don’t pay enough.
Moving on to more advanced topics such as global food security, international banking, interstate or inter provincial law enforcement should come as a natural progression of an individuals career and in those cases; continuing education makes sense. It does not make sense for someone straight out of high school without any experience as a teller or personal banker to enroll in PhD studies for international banking at the University of Banking Success. Similarly Law Enforcement degrees offered at Homeland Security Academic Centers of Excellence should have graduation from a police academy and at least two years of law enforcement experience as a pre-requisite because it is absurd to think someone will enroll in a Criminal Justice PhD at the age 18 and complete it at the age of 26 and then go on to a 39 year career as the Director of Homeland Security without any experience with the US Code, state penal codes, interstate compacts, extradition treaties or interfacing with criminals high risk situations.
Developed nations need to think about setting the correct pace and the correct standards for a profession and not use education as a silver bullet for solving all of societies problems. When thinking about education in a developed nation, we need to ask ourselves if it is really necessary for an IT professional with an information science or software engineering degree to get a new certification every six months and whether a nurses assistant should have a PhD in molecular biology.
Education in developed nations at the associate and bachelor level, should be a place to learn but the curriculum should be centered around tools and skills that are important to employers near the college and not focused on too heavily on theories and innovation. At the professional level; college should should be a place to conduct research, exchange ideas and discuss complex problems. At the advanced professional level college should no longer be a place specifically for learning; rather it should be a place to study, practice and discuss different industry methods amongst professionals. It should provide a place to discuss viable business ideas and build contacts outside of the workplace.
This educational model for developed nations should be in stark contrast to studies at undeveloped nations that should be focused on catching up to developed nations and obtaining the knowledge necessary to build out infrastructure and communications for their countries.