Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 60.djvu/363

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THE COLLEGE-MAN.

use in the industrial departments of life, out of which come, directly or indirectly, all great fortunes.

This is already coming into view as the characteristic change of the time in the making of the personality of the notable man of the time. To-day the educated men are taking their place in the world and their chances of success are, and have long been, vastly greater, in most directions, than those of the uneducated. The proportion of educated men taking their places in history is already fifty times as great as of the uneducated; the next generation will see practically all great prizes in their hands. It is a splendid evidence of the progress of the world that he who chooses may enter the ranks of the educated, and he who will may make himself a man of culture.

As for opportunity to gain the prizes of common life, 'what more can the college-man ask than he now receives? 'One man in a hundred to-day obtains a college diploma; these men supply one third the Members of Congress, one half and more of our presidents and vice-presidents, two thirds of our Supreme Court justices, seven eights of the chief justices. In all ranks, in all great places, the names of immortals are in the proportion of fifty to one, favoring the college-man. If, as asserted by some writers of late, as I however think mistakenly, the proportion of college men to population is falling off, then so much the greater will be the opportunities of the wise. If, as presumably is the fact, college-men are more and more pursuing professional studies, that means the elevation of the professions to a higher level and still larger opportunities for the college-man fitted to lead. To-day, the college-man has thirty times as large an opportunity to succeed in public life as the non-graduate, fifty times as large an opportunity to reach the cabinet, the vice-presidency or the president's chair, sixty or seventy times as large a probability of success in striving for the Supreme Court, eighty or ninety times as favorable chances of becoming Chief Justice.

In the great industries there are probably a still larger proportion of positions which, without the scientific learning and systematic training in applied sciences given by the engineering schools, the most ambitious of men and the most talented could not attain or attaining, could not hold. The coming century will see these opportunities more and more the prize of intellect suitably trained, of mind properly strengthened, of talent precisely outfitted for the task of their acquirement. The college-man will come more and more generally to take and to hold one hundred per cent, of the positions assigned the generals in the great army of industry. This is the more probable since, as is asserted by a foreign and unprejudiced observer, 'The engineering profession is to-day, upon the whole, the best educated in America.'

In all the later centuries until the nineteenth, the college-man