What to Consider if You're Considering University: New Rules for Education and Employment

Ken S. Coates and Bill Morrison. Dundurn (IPS, U.S. dist.; UTP, Canadian dist.), $24.99 trade paper (216p) ISBN 978-1-45972-298-9
In this era of a globalization, crushing student debt, and credential inflation, university is not for everyone. So argue authors Coates (Arctic Front) and Morrison (Campus Confidential) in a book aimed at convincing college-age readers to reconsider the value of university education in a modern world where "achievement has become the exception rather than the norm." Coates and Morrison somewhat crudely divide students into camps of "curious" book learners built for the academic track, and the intellectually uncurious "swarm." The authors implore young Canadians—especially the "swarm"—to examine their true interests and consider non-university options such as polytechnics, community colleges, and skilled trades. The book includes helpful chapters covering polytechnic preparation, volunteerism, and the value of physical labour. Coates and Morrison's style is accessible, and they make important points about the shifting job market and the devaluing of university diplomas, but dividing students into the "curious" and the "swarm" overlooks different learning styles. It may be beyond this book's scope, but it's worth asking if some students struggle due to outdated university curriculums that are in need of change. After all, when people say "university isn't for everyone," they often mean everyone but themselves. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 06/09/2014
Release date: 04/01/2014
Genre: Nonfiction
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