When we were talking about the casualization of labor in class, we associated it with more work with undefined contracts. Basically, doing more work for less money. Then, we went on to talk about why this is important to us as students.
I think that the importance of this information goes hand in hand with some of the other things we have been talking about lately. For instance college as a business, we are essentially consumers in the business model of college. The product we are paying for, higher education. Eventually, this product will hopefully get me a stable job and financial security. However, lets say that my goal is to go to graduate school and become a professor at an institution where I can do research (which inconsequently it is). If this happens, I then become a different layer of the college business model, I go from the consumer to part of the product. However, lets just say that I can’t get the job security, aka an assistant professor job. Then, doesn’t that make the product that I paid all that money for broken?
It is the same with any job really, you pay all this money for higher education because you want job security and financial stability, but most of the time that is really hard to find right out of graduation. Especially, if you are not a major that is, in the view of society, worth something. i.e. English, communications, biology etc. So, the business model for higher education is in my eyes failing because it is not producing what it aimed to do. This relates back to the casualization of labor because businesses are all out to make money, and be successful. Cutting costs where they can but still producing the product they set out to make. Higher education is quickly becoming a lot like that with the introduction of technology- online classes. They can cut back on the amount of employees needed and the amount that they pay the professors because technology is creating this casualization. The end product is still the same, you as a consumer get a degree and pay, most times, less money to do so. It seems like a win-win for both you and the university, but is it really?
Do you get the same quality education online with very little to no interaction from the professor that you would in a classroom? In my opinion, no. I have taken an online class before and I have helped my cousins take online classes. The experience is nothing like what we have in the classroom. Interaction with the professor and other classmates is beneficial and a part of learning that I don’t think can be replaced. My cousins were taking math classes and basically had to turn to the book to learn how to do anything because the lectures were pre-recorded and questions were hard to ask through email. Was it convenient to be able to watch lectures in your spare time and do the work at your own pace, yes but it was not the same quality. It was casual, but at times more work for them and myself. Just like it was probably more work for the professor because he had a class of 400 people at one time and he was only getting paid for that one class.
Let us look at some articles about how higher education is failing.
So, why are the students failing at basic skills? This article suggests it is because colleges are not really teaching them to think critically and problem solve but they are teaching them content. So, it somewhat blames the professors, but if we look at this article http://www.businessinsider.com/american-higher-education-failure-2013-5 we see that according to recent graduates it is not the professors but the system as a whole that seems to be failing.
We don’t feel prepared to leave and go into the work place and we don’t feel like we are getting what we paid money for.
This documentary tags on some of the reasons why it is the college is failing us, one important thing they hit on is that college is more concerned with its business than its students.
It seems that as labor is being casualized and higher education is becoming more and more concerned with its business model, we as students and eventually graduates are losing more than gaining.