Imagine you received this letter:
I am about to graduate high school and have been accepted to several good colleges. However, I believe that the cost and the potential benefits of the college life are no match for real world experience. Drinking, partying and spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on books, room/board and classes are not what I am interesting in doing for the next four years. My interest is in learning and gaining real world experience.
Based on this, I have a proposal for you. I want to learn how to be a [whatever you do] and have identified you as a master in your field. I would like to be your apprentice. I am willing to work for free for 4 years (length of a BA degree). I will read any book you suggest and work diligently on learning the craft. In return, you would teach me your craft.
This proposal will save me hundreds of thousands of dollars and probably teach me more than any four year degree could. You would gain a hard working employee with no salary. I understand that it is not really free as teaching me would use your time and energy. I would supply money for books, computer and any software I needed.
If you are willing to be my master, I am willing to be your apprentice. Sincerely, [Someone]
OK, so I am sure it could be written better, but the point is that the apprentice system is dead in modern times. However, a thousand years ago, this is how skilled labor was created and perpetuated. Why isn’t there an option for people to avoid a meaningless degree from a college only intent on taking student’s money? Colleges are not teaching our youth how to work in the real world. Even computer science degree students are not learning how to program for real. They use outdated technologies to do outdated tasks.
I wish I had 4 years of work experience rather than 4 years of college. I wonder how many other people feel the same way. What other ideas are out there to improve the situation?