Saturday, October 22, 2011

#15 Go to Graduation...Again

Now I didn't epically fail the graduation process and have to redo it. I went to the graduation of Perico(the oldest of the three sons in the house). He graduated from the Universidad de la Republica(largest university in Uruguay and only public one) with a degree in software engineering. So now let's have fun comparing.

When we graduate:
-He is near 30 about to get married and already has a job.
-I/average American college student are 20-23 without a job.

Two things I want to touch on here. Bad: It took him so long because classes are hard to get into at the public university. Good: He didn't pay a cent.

How long it takes:
Here: Average engineer 5-6 years minimum
States: 4-5 years but usually because you are doing a minor or double major.

I don't know, but it seems likely that their school is a little more challenging to graduate from, but either way being an engineer is hard.

Number of Graduates:
Universidad de la Republica: Between all engineers ~120
ISU: My estimate is there were aboutt 500 in my year.

Obviously Uruguay is smaller than the States, so that might be a factor. However, it is close enough in size to Iowa and is a well-educated country in case you were thinking that might be the difference. Plus Iowa has 2 major universities. So why the difference. My guess it is harder to graduate i.e. classes are harder, there are more requirements, etc.

Opinion time: These are both public universities so the idea is that anyone or almost anyone should be able to get in(Agree). However, that doesn't mean anyone should be able to graduate and get that piece of paper called a diploma. I believe that in trying to get everyone to go to college and be better off we have made it worse. Yea more people are graduating, but what about the quality of people that are graduating. I think at some point the push to get more in college(well-intentioned) ended up lowering standards.

Why, you ask? I have seem some people that are so dumb they shouldn't be allowed outside by themselves and they are in college. This is a problem for the U.S. and more importantly it's graduates. These idiots are graduating just like the smart people so now my essentially worthless diploma is becoming even more worthless because now anyone can graduate.

To support this a few years ago you only needed a Bachelor's to get into the State Dept. because they knew you were prepared. Now a Master's is practically a requirement because that hasn't been watered down like Bachelor's degrees and you do actually have to know what you are doing to graduate. Also I graduated in three years with a double major double minor. I didn't do that much more work than others and I changed majors after my first semester making that worthless credit-wise and only took 12 hours in Spain. It shouldn't have been that easy and graduate school isn't. However, then I would have to fork over fistful's of cash for the privilege, No thanks!

Finally:
Graduation Ceremony
ISU: Elaborate, very formal, robes, long speeches, and music(see below)
Uruguay: 3 five-minute speeches, hand out diploma, casual dress

I feel like appearances have become more important than substance. Outside of a few classes and my experience in Spain I feel cheated it should have been harder.

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