DEAR GRANDDADDY- A Teen, Parent, and Educator Advice Column BLOG #71

Dear Granddaddy, why do they send us off to study worthless stuff in college? Jon -12th grader.

Bestselling and award-winning author, speaker, educator, and TV host.


Well, Jon, let me begin with telling you that I have been an educator for more than two decades. I have also completed 14-years of college and earned seven degrees. And now with the way the college costs have skyrocketed, I am now wondering if there is any way I can help my own kids make better decisions about college, as well…

Fifty years ago there weren’t any worthless majors when one went to college. As a history teacher, I am well-aware of Thomas Jefferson’s creation of the University of Virginia, and how he and the other great forefathers of this country valued a liberal arts education like the one I have makes me sad to see how much this world has changed. It saddens me that liberal arts degrees don’t seem to be valued anymore.

Thanks to college being run like a business, and that they’re pushing the product of education as much as they can, way more kids now go to college than there are good paying jobs available. College is just too expensive now for us to go off to “find ourselves.” One has to specialize in a very narrow niche to have any chance of paying for their own college loans.

And if one really thinks about it, it almost doesn’t make sense anymore for someone to go off to college to learn how to become a teacher. The future teachers are going to accrue a massive amount of debt, and then if they’re lucky, get a job teaching that only pays them about $40,000 a year. Society is heading down the wrong path here, and it will most likely someday pay for it.

So, Jon, I don’t know you enough to know what stuff you think is useless. So, I’d say to use your common sense to study what you think might benefit you in making a living. And then somehow around all of that, broaden your educational horizon at the free public library every chance you get.

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Dan Blanchard is a bestselling and an award-winning author, speaker, and educator who has appeared in several of the world’s Top Ten Podcasts, and over 100 television and radio shows. He now also has a weekly TV show of his own. To find out more about Dan or to submit a question to him, please visit him on his website at: