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Getting a college degree stands out as one of the essential moves in the lives of the majority. However, the purpose and motivation of attending university are not the same for every graduate. Although the article “The most career-minded Generation (2016)”, by Lam and the talk “Declaring our independence through education (2014)”, by Roth have overlapping ideas about the main incentives of education and the importance of liberal education, those views contradict the factors which caused the spread of that motives.
The motivation for getting a higher education has greatly altered in recent years.
Lam (2016) states the main thing students take into consideration while choosing the most preferable college is the future perspective of getting a well-paid job. In other words, the extrinsic stimulus predominates the intrinsic ones for current societies. Similarly, Roth (2014) claims that nowadays the most common motive for receiving a college degree is the opportunity to become financially independent as well as be capable to stand on one’s own feet.
He demonstrates the example of a father whose only question during the university’s information session is whether his daughter will have a job after graduation or not. Both authors agree with the fact that the interest in attending colleges majorly to gain knowledge had been lost (Lam, 2016; Roth, 2014).
The opinions of authors differ about the main causes that led to the creation of an inappropriate attitude towards education. On the one hand, Lam (2016) introduces the research done by data from the Freshman Survey, which shows that the students became more focused on materialism by the time when the income inequality increased.
On the other hand, Roth (2014) argues that the actual responsibility is on the “GPA arm race” created by the universities that made students subordinate the value of knowledge from the ability to earn as much money as possible, rather than some economic factors.
One thing that is emphasized in both cases is the great appreciation of liberal education. According to both Lam (2016) and Roth (2014), in the constantly modifying job market, it is extremely difficult to find a profitable profession and gain knowledge only related to that sphere. For that reason, liberal education is so indispensable, as it enables people to develop their minds in terms of critical thinking as well as analytical skills and fit diverse jobs (Lam, 2016; Roth, 2014).
To sum up, the authors discuss both coincidings as well as different ideas about the relation of education with a successful future. They identify the dominant incentive among modern students, yet have contrasting approaches related to the reason for which it became the moving force. Both authors believe that even though the degree can provide a person with a job, one must have a liberal education to do that work (Lam, 2016; Roth, 2014).
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