Free Education Pros and Cons
A Cost vs. Credibility Analysis
Although unrecognized by most, free education is regularly dispensed in copious amounts on a daily basis. Learning is a lifelong process. It does not stop with the beginning of Commencement exercises. Neither is it confined to conventional classrooms.
Many Forms and Faces of Factual Conveyance
In contemporary American society, “education” equates to the “systematic, structured interchange of information and ideas. “ This lexis connation invariably invokes imagery of formal institutional settings.
In fact, the correct conceptualization of “education” must encompass any experience or interaction designed to formulate or change physical, intellectual, or emotional capacity(ies).
In many academic arenas, “free education” denotes publicly-funded compulsory learning programs like the primary or secondary schooling required by most American state laws. Throughout this Article, the term indicates self-help instruction with no immediate or direct economic cost to pupils or the public.
Advantages of free education
A common myth holds that informal learning is inferior to formal education. In reality, however, low-cost and no-cost learning often holds out much more hope and greater pecuniary promise than other options.
Factors That Favor of Free Education
Let’s face it: The World of Work and Academia are very different. In the former, money and clients dictate decisions and mandate strategies. Within the latter realm, research and scholarly theory carry the day.
Thus, a main advantage of self-education may be reduced to one word: reality. Realism forms the font from which all other advantages flow.
1. Doing a job vs. holding a title
Self-taught self starters enjoy have a huge head start. A bold jump into the Pool of Pecuniary Opportunity definitely beats sitting by the wayside while formulating theories about the best diving technique!
2. Better concentration
Self-education allows you to fully focus on specific subject matter and most relevant skills.
3. More practical skills application
Lofty theories taught by haughty intellectuals on high horses within Ivy Towers are okay. Experience is a much better teacher, however.
4. Earning while learning
Why pay for invaluable insights when others will gladly fund your business education by hiring you to help them solve pressing problems?
Arguments against Free Education
Self-taught learning has some limitations. Bankers want to see income documentation before approving loan applications. Likewise, prospective clients and employers demand paper diplomas as proof of competence. This widespread perception of credibility creates some major pitfalls for would-be applicants and practitioners:
1. Non-negotiable for many positions
Most administrative and managerial, as well as all academic positions require formal academic credentials of applicants.
2. Book sense begets common “cents”
Practical skills must be properly balanced with theoretical thinking proficiency. What good is knowledge of the best marketing strategies borne of long experience if you cannot calculate per-ad cost?
4. Lower income
Numbers never lie. Since time immemorial, Father Time has told consistently told the same tale: Formal education level and earnings potential have a direct correlation and inexorable association.
Obtaining free education online
Technological advancements have greatly facilitated access to free education. Thanks to Cyberspace, lengthy commutes and relocations are no long required prerequisites for educational enhancement or academic advancement.
Nonetheless, virtual delivery of free education requires vast resources. Numerous open community projects have evolved in an effort to meet the growing void of high-quality, organized free education online. Notable examples include Wikiversity and topic-specific sites like MyMCAT.com. The latter online platform offers free preparation for the Medical College Admissions Test.
“There is no Santa Claus”
The current posture of free education clearly illustrates the timeless truth of the above truism. Knowledge always extracts a price. Fortunately, learning lets you choose your method of payment.
Different Ships, Same Port
Many opt for the more scenic, leisurely free education route to learning. The road is somewhat circuitous and the trip can be quite lengthy. The ticket to ride only costs a little time and determination, however. Others opt for the formal classroom “shortcut” and its associated tolls of cold, hard, tuition dollars.
No matter how you ultimately arrive, never forget that the first and foremost task is to board the best vessel for you and stay aboard until your reach the final destination. Begin your journey to success today. Bon voyage!