I read an article by Charles Murray recently that talked about developing test-based credentials for various professions and trades instead of relying solely on four-year college degrees. These tests would be akin to the CPA exam, and would be comprehensive in scope. The advantages to the testing approach are many:
- It would be "degree-neutral," in that no minimum amount of schooling is required.
- It also would be "institution-neutral." You could have gotten the knowledge for taking the test from a university, two-year college, trade school, the local library, or your parents' garage. All that matters is that you have the skills to pass the exam.
- It would allow individuals to obtain only the schooling they need and want.
- It wouldn't necessarily saddle people with crushing debt due to student loans, etc.