November 23rd, 2012


In which I rant a bit about educational choices

Happy Thanksgiving you lot, from the future where we don't have a day for such things, and if we did it'd be yesterday. I know the roots of Thanksgiving are a mess of horrible, but the spirit of taking a day off to hang out with family and be thankful for stuff sounds pretty good to me.

So yesterday a blog I follow published this post, in which the author argues that government forcing Auckland University to take on more engineering students by adding engineering funding and freezing funding on other subjects is unlikely to fill the current gap in the employment market. Fair enough, he makes some good points. However, I take issue with this paragraph:

"Bluntly, the reason so few people do these courses is that they are hard. Engineering is at the crunchy end of science, requiring serious mathematical ability. IT, whether programming or plumbing, requires a confidence with technology and the ability to wrap your brain around stuff that causes SAN-loss in most people. If you are an 18-year-old with middling grades at maths who views computers primarily as an appliance for using Facebook, then these courses are not the way to get good grades and therefore (so the logic goes) a good job. Oh, you might be able to learn, but its a risk, and at the end of it who wants to hire the B student? Better to do that BA or BCom instead."

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Heh. Clearly I have feelings on this topic. Which isn't surprising really. Someone called me stupid on the internet.