Charles Murray vs. Mike Rose

Charles Murray vs. Mike Rose





Charles Murray vs. Mike Rose

The objectives presented by Charles Murray and Mike Rose have the same direction, but encompass different routes to attainment. Both speakers believe that many people go to college, which is not entirely necessary for employment. Murray uses an economic perspective to derive his conclusions while Rose employs a practical and cognitive approach to base his arguments (Meier, 2014). The two speakers address the poor practicality of the United States Education System as they highlight the bias recruitment process applied by employers in the country that has led to a significant number of graduates being unemployed. Moreover, the speakers reveal the stigma created by lack of education in the society and the developed notion that one has to have a college degree to qualify for employment. The requirement in going to college is an overemphasized criterion that has no direct influence on the country’s economy or work brilliance of an individual.

According to Murray, employers only use the Degree certification as a screening device for practical and academic capabilities of an individual (Southard, 2013). The main purpose of using degrees is to save time and money in the recruitment process and not to accurately examine the candidate’s professional abilities. The speaker argues that the screening process has also created a social discrimination for persons without the certification from colleges (Southard, 2013). Employers do not see or hear anything from an individual without a college degree. Another point is that students and guardians waste a lot of money in fees and support finances that could have been more productive if invested in another way. Equally, the economy would have benefited more if people would enroll directly into the workforce after high school (Southard, 2013). Murray argues that economy benefits more from blue-collar jobs than mediocre white jobs that are subject to layoffs and other unstable conditions.

Mike Rose in his practical view suggests that experience supersedes college certification. The speaker promotes experiences as a more beneficial factor than college education thus vouching for blue-collar jobs (Rose, 2012). According to the speaker, persons who have experience on a given task are more qualified for promotion or employment than a degree holder is with no experience. Equally, the veteran employee is also more productive (Rose, 2012). Rose gives an example of his uncle Joe who worked as an assembly line man at GM without an engineering degree. Through practical experience and no certification, the worker was able to better the machines that they used at the production line. During his promotion to manager, Joe reinvented several machines improving functionality and allowing more effective cost management (Rose, 2012). The argument presented by Rose informs that blue-collar laborers can be as effective and intelligent as white-collar employees, if a little experience and teaching is added.

Mike Rose’s view compliments the perspective given by Charles Murray. First, both speakers believe that college education is unnecessary for successful employment. Two, both believe that an individual and the economy benefits most from direct blue-collar jobs after high school. Murray depicts informal jobs as less susceptible to economic changes thus more beneficial to a country’s economy in the long term. Rose highlights blue-collar jobs as more effective in teaching through experience improving individual skills and job performance (Rose, 2004). The elevated functionality reflects directly on the economy. Final, both view college certification as not an enough credential to depict the intelligence required in a work environment. Murray and Rose agree mostly in blue-collar jobs as the most beneficial and interactive platform for employment requiring no college education.




Meier, D. (2014). In schools we trust: Creating communities of learning in an era of testing and standardization. Boston: Beacon Press.

Rose, M. (2012). Back to school: Why everyone deserves a second chance at education. New York, NY: New Press.

Rose, M. (2004). The mind at work: Valuing the intelligence of the American worker. New York: Viking.

Southard, Hali. (2013). Do You Really Need to Go to College? Journal on Professionalism. 1. 1-5.


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