Our local state senator and recent rightwing media star, Glenn Grothman, has spent a lot of time, recently, suggesting that a university education is a waste of time. (Would it be too easy to note that it didn't seem to do him much good? )
It's worth remembering that all that abstruse and difficult to understand research that goes on in universities precisely embodies the skill sets required to create the next generation of technological, and economic, innovation. The university has to prepare people for jobs that don't even exist yet. You can't do that by training and instruction, you can only do that by education.
Essay on new approach to defend the value of the humanities | Inside Higher Ed
"For ultimately, to take advantage of the vocational potential of humanities study as we propose is not to sell out to the corporate world, but to bring the critical perspective of the humanities into that world. It is a perspective that is sorely needed, especially in corporate and financial sectors that have lately been notoriously challenged in the ethics department, to say the least. Humanities graduates are trained to consider the ethical dimensions of experience, linking the humanities with the sciences as well as with business and looking at both these realms from diverse perspectives. To those who worry that what we urge would blunt the humanities' critical power, we would reply that it would actually figure to increase that power, for power after all is the ability to act in the world."