If you think about it for a moment this doesn’t make any sense at all. Really, why do all degrees take 4 years? Do all degrees require exactly the same amount of education, the same amount or learning, and the same amount of experience? It doesn’t make sense.
I won’t debate why you go to college or university, it could be to learn to learn, to acquire a skill, to acquire knowledge, to get certified, or whatever the reason. It really doesn’t matter for this post, the question is why does it take 4 years no matter what major you take?
Some topics are more involved than others. And it shows! I remember taking some harder course where each class time had a related lab time allocated to it. If you take 5 of these courses in a semester then that was 5 labs. For other subjects, there were no labs. Some classes barely even had any assignments. For example if I compare most of my computer science assignments to my psychology assignments (I majored in both), well let’s just the say the amount of effort wasn’t comparable. And most psychology classes didn’t have labs! I’m not knocking Psychology (it was my third major – I also majored in Physics), it requires a skill set that not everyone has. It’s just that the amount of effort it took me to get through my computer science classes compared to my psychology classes wasn’t even close.
Of course I assume things haven’t changed that much since I went to university, except that now laptops are standard. Back in my day, when we used to walk 50 miles in blizzards with 100mph winds, no one had a laptop in class. But seriously, I assume there’s still a large discrepancy between how much effort goes into different degrees.
And that’s how it should be. Some material is harder to learn and takes more effort. That’s life. But why is it that every college degree still takes 4 years. Why don’t they vary in time depending on what’s required?
Is it a perception thing, where people will put less value into a 2-3 year degree versus a 4-5 year degree. I’m sure that will happen, but there’s nothing wrong with that. They take differing amounts of effort.
Or is it that it’s just easier to make everyone go through the same 4 year program, and expand or shrink the effort it takes to make it fit into 4 years (not to be confused with Parkinson’s law). Plus, and I just can’t resist, it’s pretty easy money to have a 2-3 year program take 4 years.
Personally I believe the main reason is that’s easy and standard to make it 4 years, no matter how much effort it really takes. It’s the easy route. It’s the standard. Why rock the boat? And any other of the million cliches you can come up with. Sure the other benefits are nice, but I simply think it’s because that’s the way it’s always been. And that’s why we should really question why college degrees all take 4 years to complete!