January 10, 2012

Regarding the Future of Our Labor

It is an interesting question. Should massage therapy become a college degree?

It is a question that is being proffered by those who would like massage to become part of the medical care system, with regard to how little training massage therapists have in comparison to those in the medical field. Standing next to people with four, seven, and eleven years of college and post-college, should massage move on to a more formal education system?

I wonder.

One of the nice things about massage therapy is that it is an easy-in business. A technical course of a few months and one can be in the working field, depending on your state of residence. After initial training therapists can and do take more education, developing their niche as they see fit.

On the other hand, do they fit in with other professions that require much more training, and should they even aspire to such?

Education as an entry to the working world has changed over the past generation. Folks in the computer industry, at first, rarely had degrees. The internet billionaires are still “drop-outs.” Their inventive brains have made it possible to get college degrees on-line. Bill Gates himself has predicted the end of the four-year institution thanks to on-line education.

In big-firm finance, post-college degrees/Ivy League is the way to get in at big firms. Thanks, guys, for the last five years of recession.

Yet in medicine, and in education, college and post-college rule, not only as a training ground but as a way of differentiating those who make more to those who make less. Ask any teacher or nurse how much fun it is to go to school at night to get a degree. But the degree pays off immediately in salary. One wonders, though, when a PhD. is teaching kindergarten if it is a little crazy.

I am a college graduate, not in massage or health sciences but English, and my piece of paper sits on the wall above my computer. It was tough getting it, but it has shown employers over the years that I can finish what I started.

Did it prepare me well for my original profession, journalism? It certainly helped. I think I learned a lot more about working in the field in the first few weeks of employment at a daily newspaper than I did in four years of school. But the degree did get me in the door, and I know how to find things in a library.
So, are we just being a little insecure about the degree thing or should massage therapy “grow up” to a health-related degree? If it does, does that mean non-degree therapists are less effective than those with degrees? Or will they just be better-paid?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

massage therapist go thru a lot of education. you need to know what you are talking about. they are trained in a&p, kinseolgy, pathology,drugs,history, and alot more. get the facts.